SECURITY AND PRIVACY
THE USE OF DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGIES HAS DOWNSIDES TOO. OUR SOCIETY BECOMES MORE VULNERABLE FOR CYBER CRIME AS MUCH MORE DATA IS STORED DIGITALLY AND A PLETHORA OF PHYSICAL OBJECTS BECOMES CONNECTED TO THE INTERNET
Smart cities are highly digitized cities by nature, characterized by large volumes of data stored digitally and large numbers of physical objects with an online connection to the Internet. This can be used in a positive way, by contributing to societal goals, but it is also possible to abuse the possibilities for criminal purposes.
• Privacy violation (1) – Almost every aspect of our personal lives is captured in digital data that is stored somewhere in the digital ecosystem. Whether it is data about our purchases and payments, our geographical location and movements, our health records, the websites we visit, the films and series we watch on Netflix, the music we listen to on Spotify, the photos we store in our iCloud, virtually every aspect of our lives creates a digital footprint. Every two days, the world creates more data than in the entire human history up to the year 2003. The threat is in the combination of two aspects. First, digital systems can be hacked with unauthorized access to personal data as result. We have seen many examples of that in the past years. Second, data analytics has become so powerful it can combine data sets to infer someone’s lifestyle, habits and more. Even to the point that others are able to know more about a person that the person itself.
• Hacking of connected objects (2) – With the Internet of Things, all kinds of machines become connected to the Internet and the role of humans diminishes, even tot the point they are removed from the equation. This will generate huge increases in productivity. But there is also a dark side: connected objects are vulnerable for hacking. For many objects, the risks associated with becoming hacked are limited. However, as objects which are part of vital infrastructures become connected, hacking is a huge threat. Hacking the control system of planes, energy plants, pacemakers, self driving cars and may other connected machines can disrupt vital systems. This goes far beyond the type of hacking resulting in embarrassing privacy leaks, it creates a real threat to life. The implication of these risks is to make these connected objects Secure, Vigilant and Resilient.
• Future crimes (3) – The increasing digitization causes a paradigm shift in crime. One of the characteristics of ‘future crime’ is its almost unlimited scalability. Traditionally, crime was always restricted by physical barriers. The number of victims a pickpocket could make was confined by geographical limitations. When the crime scene shifts from the physical world to the digital world, these limitations no longer exist and crime becomes scalable too. For the first time in history, one criminal organization can rob hundreds of millions of people in one attack.
The ability to prepare for and adapt to changing conditions, and withstand and recover rapidly from disruptions due to deliberate attacks, accidents or naturally threats
One of the consequences of digitization is an increasing dependency on digital technologies. If vital digital infrastructures fail or become compromised by malicious attacks, serious disruption of society and economy can be the result. The challenge is to make digital infrastructure and smart solutions resilient.
HOW TO WIN
City resilience consists of three different aspects:
ENSURING CONTINUITY OF CRITICAL SERVICES – Critical services like electricity, water, communication, transportation, etc. are increasingly becoming dependent on smart city technology. City government will have to identify the most critical services to protect and take measures to prevent disruption and, should disruption occur, recover from it rapidly.
INCIDENT RESPONSE – Critical services like transportation can be disrupted by incidents like traffic accidents. A resilient smart city uses technology to minimize the impact of such incidents and to recover from it as fast as possible. This is done by detecting the incident in real-time, by dispatching emergency services automatically and rerouting traffic while it is needed.
CRISIS MANAGEMENT – In the early stages of a crisis, information is key to making the right decisions. A smart city supports city government in crisis management by providing detailed and real-time insights in the situation and analysis tools that can help predict the effects of different possible decisions and strategies.
THE SIX ROLES OF CITY GOVERNMENT
Smart cities require a government that is able to combine six vital roles. To be most effective, city government must make deliberate choices on the mix of roles through which it engages city challenges in the most effective way. Each role must be developed at a mature level.
A smart city is the result of the efforts of many stakeholders, working together in partnerships of different shape and form. The citizen / user is at the centre of the map, indicating that successful smart cities are always user-centric.
STRATEGY & VISION – Smart cities have a clear vision of what they want to be and a strategy to realize this ambition. Each city has its own strengths, challenges and opportunities. No two cities are alike. A smart city harnesses the power of technology and social innovations to increase existing strengths, to solve persistent challenges and to create new successes by leveraging opportunities. Having a clear economic and social vision allows a city to focus their energy and resources on what brings value to the city most, not only on the short term but also in the long term. A clear vision is the only effective counterweight to the technology push of vendors. Cities that lack such a vision are likely to become a living laboratory for vendor solutions with piecemeal successes.
One of the exiting aspects of disruptive technologies is that no one can predict what the impact of a new technology will be and when it will happen. Although there is a common feeling that something is going to happen, real transformations often have many unexpected elements. For that reason smart cities needs thinkers who dare to ask Developing Mature the out-of-the-box ‘what if’ questions. What if health care breakthroughs cause people to reach an average age of 120? What if the technology to store electricity becomes 100x more efficient and cheaper. What if the self-driving car really takes of what if no one has a car of his own?