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The ethics and risks of urban big data
and smart cities
Rob Kitchin
National University of Ireland Maynooth
@robkitchin
Smart Dublin / open data & tools
Smart city technologies
Domain Example technologies
Government
E-government systems; online transactions; city operating
systems; performance management systems; urban
dashboards
Security and emergency
services
Centralised control rooms; digital surveillance; predictive
policing; coordinated emergency response
Transport
Intelligent transport systems; integrated ticketing; smart
travel cards; bikeshare; real-time passenger information;
smart parking; logistics management; transport apps
Energy Smart grids; smart meters; energy usage apps; smart
lighting
Waste Compactor bins and dynamic routing/collection
Environment Sensor networks (e.g., pollution, noise, weather; land
movement; flood management)
Buildings Building management systems; sensor networks
Homes Smart meters; app controlled smart appliances
Civic Various apps; open data; volunteered data/hacks
Urban big data
• Diverse range of public and private
generation of fine-scale (uniquely
indexical) data about citizens and places in
real-time:
• utilities
• transport providers, logistics systems
• environmental agencies
• mobile phone operators
• app developers
• social media sites
• travel and accommodation websites
• home appliances and entertainment
systems
• financial institutions and retail chains
• private surveillance and security firms
• remote sensing, aerial surveying
• emergency services
• Producing a data deluge that can be
combined, analyzed, acted upon
Ethics and security concerns
• Urban big data and smart city
systems create a number of ethical
and security concerns
• Surveillance and erosion privacy
• Ownership, control, data markets
• Social sorting / redlining
• Predictive profiling / anticipatory
governance
• Nudge / behavioural change
• Dynamic pricing
• Data security
• Control creep
• Buggy, brittle, hackable urban
systems
Privacy
• Privacy debates concern acceptable practices
with regards to accessing and disclosing
personal and sensitive information about a
person
• identity privacy (to protect personal and
confidential data)
• bodily privacy (to protect the integrity of
the physical person);
• territorial privacy (to protect personal
space, objects and property);
• locational and movement privacy (to
protect against the tracking of spatial
behaviour)
• communications privacy (to protect against
the surveillance of conversations and
correspondence);
• transactions privacy (to protect against
monitoring of queries/searches, purchases,
and other exchanges)
A Taxonomy of Privacy Harms (compiled from Solove 2006)
Domain Privacy breach Description
Information
Collection
Surveillance Watching, listening to, or recording of an individual’s activities
Interrogation Various forms of questioning or probing for information
Information
Processing
Aggregation The combination of various pieces of data about a person
Identification Linking information to particular individuals
Insecurity Carelessness in protecting stored information from leaks and
improper access
Secondary Use Use of information collected for one purpose for a different
purpose without the data subject’s consent
Exclusion Failure to allow the data subject to know about the data that others
have about her and participate in its handling and use, including
being barred from being able to access and correct errors
Information
Dissemination
Breach of Confidentiality Breaking a promise to keep a person’s information confidential
Disclosure Revelation of information about a person that impacts the way
others judge her character
Exposure Revealing another’s nudity, grief, or bodily functions
Increased Accessibility Amplifying the accessibility of information
Blackmail Threat to disclose personal information
Appropriation The use of the data subject’s identity to serve the aims and
interests of another
Distortion Dissemination of false or misleading information about individuals
Invasion Intrusion Invasive acts that disturb one’s tranquillity or solitude
Decisional Interference Incursion into the data subject’s decisions regarding her private
affairs
Privacy and big urban data
• Intensifies datafication
• The capture and circulation
data are:
• indiscriminate and exhaustive
(involve all individuals, objects,
transactions, etc.);
• distributed (occur across
multiple devices, services and
places);
• platform independent (data can
flow across platforms, services,
and devices);
• continuous (data are generated
on a routine and automated
basis).
Location/movement data
• Controllable digital CCTV cameras + ANPR + facial
recognition
• Smart phones: cell masts, GPS, wifi
• Sensor networks: capture and track phone identifiers
such as MAC addresses
• Wifi mesh: capture & track phones with wifi turned on
• Smart card tracking: barcodes/RFID chips (buildings &
public transport)
• Vehicle tracking: unique ID transponders for automated
road tolls & car parking
• Other staging points: ATMs, credit card use, metadata
tagging
• Electronic tagging; shared calenders
Data type Data permissions that can be sought by android apps (from Hein 2014)
Accounts log email log
App Activity name, package name, process number of activity, processed id
App Data Usage Cache size, code size, data size, name, package name
App Install installed at, name, package name, unknown sources enabled, version code, version
name
Battery health, level, plugged, present, scale, status, technology, temperature, voltage
Device Info board, brand, build version, cell number, device, device type, display, fingerprint, IP,
MAC address, manufacturer, model, OS platform, product, SDK code, total disk
space, unknown sources enabled
GPS accuracy, altitude, latitude, longitude, provider, speed
MMS from number, MMS at, MMS type, service number, to number
NetData bytes received, bytes sent, connection type, interface type
PhoneCall call duration, called at, from number, phone call type, to number
SMS from number, service number, SMS at, SMS type, to number
TelephonyInfo cell tower ID, cell tower latitude, cell tower longitude, IMEI, ISO country code, local
area code, MEID, mobile country code, mobile network code, network name,
network type, phone type, SIM serial number, SIM state, subscriber ID
WifiConnection BSSID, IP, linkspeed, MAC addr, network ID, RSSI, SSID
WifiNeighbors BSSID, capabilities, frequency, level, SSID
Root Check root status code, root status reason code, root version, sig file version
Malware Info algorithm confidence, app list, found malware, malware SDK version, package list,
reason code, service list, sigfile version
Privacy and big urban data
• Intensifies datafication
• Deepens inferencing and
predictive privacy harms
• Weak anonymization and enables
re-identification
• Opacity and automation creates
obfuscation and reduces control
• Data are being shared and
repurposed and used in
unpredictable and unexpected
ways
• Notice and consent is an empty
exercise or absent
•
R
Fair Information Practice Principles (OECD, 1980)
Principle Description
Notice Individuals are informed that data are being generated and the
purpose to which the data will be put
Choice Individuals have the choice to opt-in or opt-out as to whether and
how their data will be used or disclosed
Consent Data are only generated and disclosed with the consent of
individuals
Security Data are protected from loss, misuse, unauthorized access,
disclosure, alteration and destruction
Integrity Data are reliable, accurate, complete and current
Access Individuals can access, check and verify data about themselves
Use Data are only used for the purpose for which they are generated
and individuals are informed of each change of purpose
Accountability The data holder is accountable for ensuring the above principles
and has mechanisms in place to assure compliance
Redundant in the age of big urban data?
Privacy and big urban data
• Intensifies datafication
• Deepens inferencing and
predictive privacy harms
• Weak anonymization and enables
re-identification
• Opacity and automation creates
obfuscation and reduces control
• Data are being shared and
repurposed and used in
unpredictable and unexpected
ways
• Notice and consent is an empty
exercise or absent
• Data security
Hacking the city
• Weak security and encryption
• Insecure legacy systems and poor
maintenance
• Large and complex attack surfaces
and interdependencies
• Cascade effects
• Human error and disgruntled
(ex)employees
Suggested solutions
• Market:
• Industry standards and self-regulation
• Privacy/security as competitive advantage
• Technological
• End-to-end strong encryption, access controls, security controls, audit
trails, backups, up-to-date patching, etc.
• Privacy enhancement tools
• Policy and regulation
• FIPPs
• Privacy by design;
• security by design
• Governance
• Vision and strategy: (1) smart city advisory board and smart city strategy;
• Oversight of delivery and compliance: (2) smart city governance, risk and
compliance board;
• Day-to-day delivery: (3) core privacy/security team, smart city
privacy/security assessments, and (4) computer emergency response team
Background
http://progcity.maynoothuniversity.ie
@progcity
Rob.Kitchin@nuim.ie
@robkitchin
https://www.maynoothuniversity.ie/people/rob-kitchin

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The ethics and risks of urban big data and smart cities

  • 1. The ethics and risks of urban big data and smart cities Rob Kitchin National University of Ireland Maynooth @robkitchin
  • 2. Smart Dublin / open data & tools
  • 3. Smart city technologies Domain Example technologies Government E-government systems; online transactions; city operating systems; performance management systems; urban dashboards Security and emergency services Centralised control rooms; digital surveillance; predictive policing; coordinated emergency response Transport Intelligent transport systems; integrated ticketing; smart travel cards; bikeshare; real-time passenger information; smart parking; logistics management; transport apps Energy Smart grids; smart meters; energy usage apps; smart lighting Waste Compactor bins and dynamic routing/collection Environment Sensor networks (e.g., pollution, noise, weather; land movement; flood management) Buildings Building management systems; sensor networks Homes Smart meters; app controlled smart appliances Civic Various apps; open data; volunteered data/hacks
  • 4. Urban big data • Diverse range of public and private generation of fine-scale (uniquely indexical) data about citizens and places in real-time: • utilities • transport providers, logistics systems • environmental agencies • mobile phone operators • app developers • social media sites • travel and accommodation websites • home appliances and entertainment systems • financial institutions and retail chains • private surveillance and security firms • remote sensing, aerial surveying • emergency services • Producing a data deluge that can be combined, analyzed, acted upon
  • 5. Ethics and security concerns • Urban big data and smart city systems create a number of ethical and security concerns • Surveillance and erosion privacy • Ownership, control, data markets • Social sorting / redlining • Predictive profiling / anticipatory governance • Nudge / behavioural change • Dynamic pricing • Data security • Control creep • Buggy, brittle, hackable urban systems
  • 6. Privacy • Privacy debates concern acceptable practices with regards to accessing and disclosing personal and sensitive information about a person • identity privacy (to protect personal and confidential data) • bodily privacy (to protect the integrity of the physical person); • territorial privacy (to protect personal space, objects and property); • locational and movement privacy (to protect against the tracking of spatial behaviour) • communications privacy (to protect against the surveillance of conversations and correspondence); • transactions privacy (to protect against monitoring of queries/searches, purchases, and other exchanges)
  • 7. A Taxonomy of Privacy Harms (compiled from Solove 2006) Domain Privacy breach Description Information Collection Surveillance Watching, listening to, or recording of an individual’s activities Interrogation Various forms of questioning or probing for information Information Processing Aggregation The combination of various pieces of data about a person Identification Linking information to particular individuals Insecurity Carelessness in protecting stored information from leaks and improper access Secondary Use Use of information collected for one purpose for a different purpose without the data subject’s consent Exclusion Failure to allow the data subject to know about the data that others have about her and participate in its handling and use, including being barred from being able to access and correct errors Information Dissemination Breach of Confidentiality Breaking a promise to keep a person’s information confidential Disclosure Revelation of information about a person that impacts the way others judge her character Exposure Revealing another’s nudity, grief, or bodily functions Increased Accessibility Amplifying the accessibility of information Blackmail Threat to disclose personal information Appropriation The use of the data subject’s identity to serve the aims and interests of another Distortion Dissemination of false or misleading information about individuals Invasion Intrusion Invasive acts that disturb one’s tranquillity or solitude Decisional Interference Incursion into the data subject’s decisions regarding her private affairs
  • 8. Privacy and big urban data • Intensifies datafication • The capture and circulation data are: • indiscriminate and exhaustive (involve all individuals, objects, transactions, etc.); • distributed (occur across multiple devices, services and places); • platform independent (data can flow across platforms, services, and devices); • continuous (data are generated on a routine and automated basis).
  • 9. Location/movement data • Controllable digital CCTV cameras + ANPR + facial recognition • Smart phones: cell masts, GPS, wifi • Sensor networks: capture and track phone identifiers such as MAC addresses • Wifi mesh: capture & track phones with wifi turned on • Smart card tracking: barcodes/RFID chips (buildings & public transport) • Vehicle tracking: unique ID transponders for automated road tolls & car parking • Other staging points: ATMs, credit card use, metadata tagging • Electronic tagging; shared calenders
  • 10. Data type Data permissions that can be sought by android apps (from Hein 2014) Accounts log email log App Activity name, package name, process number of activity, processed id App Data Usage Cache size, code size, data size, name, package name App Install installed at, name, package name, unknown sources enabled, version code, version name Battery health, level, plugged, present, scale, status, technology, temperature, voltage Device Info board, brand, build version, cell number, device, device type, display, fingerprint, IP, MAC address, manufacturer, model, OS platform, product, SDK code, total disk space, unknown sources enabled GPS accuracy, altitude, latitude, longitude, provider, speed MMS from number, MMS at, MMS type, service number, to number NetData bytes received, bytes sent, connection type, interface type PhoneCall call duration, called at, from number, phone call type, to number SMS from number, service number, SMS at, SMS type, to number TelephonyInfo cell tower ID, cell tower latitude, cell tower longitude, IMEI, ISO country code, local area code, MEID, mobile country code, mobile network code, network name, network type, phone type, SIM serial number, SIM state, subscriber ID WifiConnection BSSID, IP, linkspeed, MAC addr, network ID, RSSI, SSID WifiNeighbors BSSID, capabilities, frequency, level, SSID Root Check root status code, root status reason code, root version, sig file version Malware Info algorithm confidence, app list, found malware, malware SDK version, package list, reason code, service list, sigfile version
  • 11. Privacy and big urban data • Intensifies datafication • Deepens inferencing and predictive privacy harms • Weak anonymization and enables re-identification • Opacity and automation creates obfuscation and reduces control • Data are being shared and repurposed and used in unpredictable and unexpected ways • Notice and consent is an empty exercise or absent •
  • 12. R Fair Information Practice Principles (OECD, 1980) Principle Description Notice Individuals are informed that data are being generated and the purpose to which the data will be put Choice Individuals have the choice to opt-in or opt-out as to whether and how their data will be used or disclosed Consent Data are only generated and disclosed with the consent of individuals Security Data are protected from loss, misuse, unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration and destruction Integrity Data are reliable, accurate, complete and current Access Individuals can access, check and verify data about themselves Use Data are only used for the purpose for which they are generated and individuals are informed of each change of purpose Accountability The data holder is accountable for ensuring the above principles and has mechanisms in place to assure compliance Redundant in the age of big urban data?
  • 13. Privacy and big urban data • Intensifies datafication • Deepens inferencing and predictive privacy harms • Weak anonymization and enables re-identification • Opacity and automation creates obfuscation and reduces control • Data are being shared and repurposed and used in unpredictable and unexpected ways • Notice and consent is an empty exercise or absent • Data security
  • 14. Hacking the city • Weak security and encryption • Insecure legacy systems and poor maintenance • Large and complex attack surfaces and interdependencies • Cascade effects • Human error and disgruntled (ex)employees
  • 15. Suggested solutions • Market: • Industry standards and self-regulation • Privacy/security as competitive advantage • Technological • End-to-end strong encryption, access controls, security controls, audit trails, backups, up-to-date patching, etc. • Privacy enhancement tools • Policy and regulation • FIPPs • Privacy by design; • security by design • Governance • Vision and strategy: (1) smart city advisory board and smart city strategy; • Oversight of delivery and compliance: (2) smart city governance, risk and compliance board; • Day-to-day delivery: (3) core privacy/security team, smart city privacy/security assessments, and (4) computer emergency response team