November 2019
Sidewalk Labs Releases Plan Detailing Data Collection and Use

2019-11-18 8:18:32 PM

CATEGORIES: Access & Privacy

Sidewalk Labs has released a proposed plan, the Digital Innovation Appendix (DIA), detailing how the smart technology would be implemented and how data would be collected and used in the Quayside Toronto project.

The plan is based on the core principles that were agreed upon between Waterfront Toronto and Sidewalk Labs and lists 18 digitally enabled services with 52 subsystems. 28 subsystems would be bought from third parties, 13 would be created by Sidewalk Labs, and 11 would be co-developed.

The subsystems include weather responsive heated pavements, self-driving trash bins, and a pay-as-you-throw garbage collection.

Heat-mapping technologies, such as radar, thermal and infrared, that would de-identify individuals could also be implemented and, for example, could look at how many customers visited a store or whether a certain space is ideal for leasing.

According to the DIA, facial recognition technology will not be used and 60% of the subsystems proposed will not generate personal information. The company also re-stated its commitment to the protection of personal information promising that personal information will not be collected for surveillance, will not be sold to third parties without the “explicit” consent from individuals, and will not be used for advertising.

The company will use a Responsible Data Use Assessment process for its data collection activities regardless of if the service involves personal information or not. The approach is based on Privacy Impact Assessment tools that can mitigate potential privacy risks.

If approved, Sidewalk Labs would begin the development application process in 2021-22.  

The recently released DIA follows an agreement between Waterfront Toronto and Sidewalk Labs that allowed the continuation of the development project but on different terms than what was initially agreed upon – namely scaling back the amount of land Sidewalk Labs was allowed to develop (178 acres to 12 acres), treating collected data as a public asset instead of the proposed Urban Data Trust, and Sidewalk Labs no longer being the lead developer.

For more information, please see below:

Sidewalk Labs: Master Innovation & Development Plan – Digital Innovation Appendix

Toronto Star: Foot traffic in stores, pay-as-you-throw garbage collection – Sidewalk Labs shares data collection and use plans for Toronto smart city

AMCTO: Waterfront Toronto and Sidewalk Labs Moving Forward With Smart City Project

AMCTO: Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner Raises Concerns over Sidewalk Labs Data Collection


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