Smile, you’re on Candid Camera


Maya Wang, a Hong Kong-based researcher for Human Rights Watch, contends the proclaimed benefits of such wired cities mask their true purpose. “This whole safe city idea is a massive surveillance project,” she said. The government-sponsored Smart Cities Work Committee didn’t respond to a request for comment. China’s latest five-year development plan calls for 100 smart-city trials to be rolled out next year. By 2020, the plan says, smart cities will make up a “ubiquitous system” that is expected to “achieve remarkable results.”

Along with access to online data, China’s government wants something else from tech companies—the cloud computing prowess to sort and analyze information. China wants to crunch data from surveillance cameras, smartphones, government databases and other sources to create so-called smart cities and safe cities.

Alibaba’s computers and artificial-intelligence algorithms power a “city brain” in Hangzhou that improves traffic flow and clears the path for ambulances by using mobile mapping and data from traffic cameras to time traffic signals. The company said its cloud and data services also have helped manage aircraft parking in Guangzhou and deploy tour guides in Wuhan.

Meanwhile, the US quietly is addressing some trade issues.

One Response to “Smile, you’re on Candid Camera”

  1. JTW Says:

    DHS is probably already negotiating a deal with the Chinese for the systems to be installed in US cities silently, in exchange for the latest nuclear weapons and missile technology…

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