Sidewalk Labs to weigh suggestions from panel
Millennial group spent 3 months in Europe, U.S.
TORONTO • Sidewalk Labs is keen on reviewing and potentially implementing recommendations made by a panel of millennials for the Alphabet Inc.-backed company’s proposed hightech community in Toronto.
The recommendations for the smart city being developed in conjunction with Waterfront Toronto touch on the project’s housing strategy, transit policies, design techniques and even its data and privacy measures, which have been marred in controversy for months because critics believe they lack transparency and safety.
The project is meant to develop a swath of prime Toronto waterfront property and outfit it with hightech innovations that are expected to change how people live, work and play within the smart community and beyond.
The 12 panellists chosen by public policy and community advocates spent three months visiting Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Boston, New York and Malmo, Sweden to collect research for the 78-page report released Friday.
The panel suggested project organizers address meaningful consent to data collection in public spaces, maintain an open data portal to encourage innovation for the public good and create an independent data trust to manage all data collected.
The panel stopped short of recommending data collected through the project be de-identified at source — a request former Ontario privacy commissioner Ann Cavoukian has long been lobbying for and said Waterfront Toronto recently “expressed no resistance” towards the policy.