The phrase ‘Smart City’ has in recent years gained a great deal of momentum and with technology ever improving, the quality of smart tech seems to simply being getting more and more and sophisticated. The ultimate aim of all this tech is apparently to make life more efficient but what does this really all mean for the Average Joe?
Whilst data collection to assist the functionality of smart technology is used in a variety of ways, one of the main places where it will affect individuals directly will be in their place of work. With companies taking steps to adopt elements of smart technology into their day to day office environment could this be the end of privacy as we know it? It’s not unusual for offices in this day and age to have generic sensors to switch off lighting when no one is in the room, but with suggestions to monitor bathroom usage to assess the need for cleaning; and fitting employees with devices which link to sensors within the building to monitor employee movement as well as stress and anxiety levels – is this going too far?
Whilst it’s inevitable that our working environment is ever evolving and changing such data collection and use of technology appears to be creating a Big Brother environment. No doubt there are several privacy and data protection issues that companies will need to consider, but the legal implications of smart technology at work is likely to also have great Real Estate implications for both landlords and tenants, with building requirements becoming more extensive and lease negotiations more complicated!
We will be covering some of these themes at our ‘Smart Cities’ event on 27 June for which you can register your attendance here.
Although they have huge potential to make life better, the possibility of increasingly smarter cities also raises serious privacy concerns. Through sensors embedded into our cities, and the smartphones in our pockets, smart cities will have the power to constantly identify where people are, who they are meeting and even perhaps what they are doing.