IoT and Neighborhoods
The effective configuration of people, processes, and data generated from things (street lights, washing machines, door locks, cars, and a 1,000 other things), will define our future.
By 2020, CISCO estimates that the number of connected devices - commonly referred to as the Internet of Things or IoT - will exceed 50 billion globally. Doing back of the envelope math, this means there might be 700,000 data generators in Jackson Heights.
When used effectively, connected devices – like sensors that capture pollution in the air or lights that only turn on when someone is in the room – can produce cost savings, bolster civic engagement, and strengthen public health and safety. IoT will also drive new economic opportunity and business development.
The expansion of connected devices can also carry significant challenges and risks for cities. Mitigating this risk requires that government play a hands-on role in establishing frameworks and standards, monitoring the expansion of IoT, and maximizing the public benefit derived from these new technologies. The city of new York has begun t look at IoT issues - see NYC IoT Guidelines.
Where Do Neighborhoods Fit?
The above graphic, from a paper on data extraction presented at 2016 NYC Data conference, proposes that - without a change in organization and process - IoT data will be extracted from the city and its neighborhoods and monetized by corporate giants, mirroring the data flow experience with the likes of Google and Facebook.
The presentation proposed the formation of "local data collection collaboratives" as one means for addressing the issue. Here are some additional thoughts, drawn from thinking in developing countries:
Local data policies should be designed to address four major issues:
- who can own data
- how data can be collected
- who can use such data
- and on what terms.
They should also address the question of data sovereignty, e.g., which data leaves the neighborhood, and consequently are not governed as to local preference.