Side­walk Labs to weigh sug­ges­tions from panel

Mil­len­nial group spent 3 months in Eu­rope, U.S.

National Post (Latest Edition) - - FINANCIAL POST - TARA DESCHAMPS

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.

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