Briefing

Several Big Tech critics urge City of Toronto to abandon Sidewalk Labs smart-city project

“They hope to displace democracy,” wrote Roger McNamee, an early investor in Apple, Facebook and Google, in a letter addressed to the City of Toronto’s executive committee. McNamee has been an outspoken critic of the project. On Tuesday, Ellen P. Goodman, a professor at New Jersey’s Rutgers Law School who specializes in information law, privacy and data ethics, wrote an op-ed in The Globe and Mail calling Sidewalk Labs “an example of a project so massive that it’s impossible to look at every single piece.” And, Waterloo-based author Tom Slee wrote to the city’s Executive Committee calling for a halt to the project. In turn, David Fraser, lawyer and adviser to Sidewalk Labs, shared his letter to the committee in support of the project, writing, “There is a strong disconnect between reality and what is being depicted in the commentary around the project.” Sidewalk Labs said McNamee’s letter represents a “fundamental misunderstanding” of the company’s approach. (The Logic)

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