Google's Sidewalk Labs convinced Toronto to let it build an all-surveilling "smart city" on a small patch of lakefront and then promptly shenaniganized things, breaking all its privacy and transparency promises and prompting a mass exodus of its advisory board members and other watchdogs.
But the shenanigans just keep coming: newly discovered documents reveal that the privatization and private surveillance of Toronto will extend far beyond the original site, capturing most of the waterfront, including Exhibition Place, Ontario Place, Fort York, Harbourfront, Rogers Centre, the CN Tower, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and Union Station.
The whole process remains shrouded in mystery, and it seems unlikely that the terrible provincial government will have the competence or moral force to do anything to check it.
And on December 5, the Auditor General of Ontario issued a report on the project, stating it is being rushed forward without sufficient public disclosure. Auditor Bonnie Lysyk said Waterfront Toronto’s “new agreement with Sidewalk Labs raises concerns in areas such as consumer protection, data collection, security, privacy, governance, anti-trust and ownership of intellectual privacy.”
The province responded to the report by saying it will work with the municipal and federal governments to determine whether any new legislation, bylaws or policies are needed to protect the public interest before the deal is finalized.
The auditor’s report also noted: “We found internal Waterfront Toronto emails indicating that the (Waterfront Toronto) board felt it was being “urged – strongly --” by the federal and provincial governments to approve and authorize the framework agreement with Sidewalk Labs as soon as possible.”
Plan to re-imagine Toronto’s waterfront: How much does public know about it? [Rosemary Frei/Rabble]
• Mark Brnovich (R) sued Google on Wednesday, alleging violation of user privacy. Arizona’s state Attorney General is suing Google over claims the company collected Android users’ location data even when users turned digital tracking off.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that federal and state regulators in the U.S. are preparing to file antitrust lawsuits against Google, saying the company abused its dominance of online search and advertising to crush competition and maximize profit.
Days after it was reported that James Damore’s lawsuit against Google was quietly settled, NBC News reports that Google has ended or sharply curtailed diversity programs to “avoid being perceived as anti-conservative”. April Glazer: Internal diversity and inclusion training programs have been scaled back or cut entirely, four Google employees and two people who recently […]
Game engines aren’t just the lifeblood of the video game industry. They may soon be the lifeblood of Hollywood. Since emerging in the late ’90s, the Unreal game engine has quickly become one of the world’s foremost tools for game creators. Now, Disney’s hit Star Wars spinoff series The Mandalorian is using Unreal as well. […]
Apple AirPods have become the default earbuds beloved by millions. Unfortunately, they also cost $159, so it’s no surprise that since they were first introduced in 2016, companies have battled to produce comparable headphones at a lower price. The UK-designed and engineered Veho STIX true wireless earphones may have cracked that particular problem, striking a […]
Instagram isn’t just for tweens and foodies. In fact, the image-heavy platform not only wants to mint new Instagram influencers — it also wants to make them rich. In the last few weeks, the company announced ad revenue sharing on IGTV videos, special badges you can buy from your favorite accounts through Instagram Live, merchandise […]