Singapore, one the worlds financial centres, and arguably the smartest Smart City right now.
The sovereign city state, is currently leading the world with it’s integration of smart technology and has the lofty aim of becoming the worlds first Smart Nation.
Almost every aspect of the city is monitored through sensors provided by private companies to absorb astonishing amounts of data. This data is monitored by a program known as Virtual Singapore that enables authorities to find the most effective ways in which to manage the city.
These systems range from the more typical smart city initiatives such parking monitors, efficient lighting, and waste disposal, to innovative new systems such as sensors deployed voluntarily in elderly care facilities that will alert families if their relatives stop moving for too long. ‘Tele-Health’ is another innovative system which allows patients to see their doctor via a screen without ever having to leave the house.
However, much of this data is personal data, and one of the biggest concerns regarding Smart City tech is the issue of privacy. How much should we be expected to give and what will the government do with it?
In recent years Singapore has become more committed to transparency and recognises the concerns of data mining on such a large scale. Vivian Balakrishnan, Singapore’s foreign affairs minister said: “The big, big elephant in the room is protection of privacy and ensuring security,”
The government has noted this and is committed to releasing more data by making the process easier for citizens, helping the city get ever closer to achieving the worlds Smartest Smart City accolade.