Week 4: Vulnerability and Ethics of Digital Cities

The ethics and vulnerabilities of digital and smart cities are an important issue, now more so than ever before with the somewhat unintentional rise in technology. Rob Kitchin (2020) explored this very topic in his article “Hacking cities is very much a reality”. Due to the amount of data which can be, and to some extent is currently, being gathered by such cities it is important for those in charge of such technologies and cities to ask what type of information they want and need to gather, and how such data should be gathered and regulated. With how much information and technology is used in cities, the idea of any first world city being hacked is no longer only a thought for science fiction or futuristic shows. This could be done through disabling systems, such as traffic lights which would cause possible traffic accidents, injures, and deaths, or through the hacking of central databases to steal information. Should this happen, it could lead to many problems in society, both for individuals and for the local area in general. However, it would not just be central problems which this could cause: the technology systems which are used would need to be built by humans on a system which would only account for certain groups of people. As such it is very likely that smart cities would become much more inequal with the further rise of technology usage and reliance. Not only, but it would be the minority of the society and city who would fall into this category, yet these people would be the most vulnerable in society as well.




Kitchin, R. (2020) Hacking cities is very much a reality. Digital Future Society. https://digitalfuturesociety.com/qanda/rob-kitchin-and-the-vulnerabilities-of-smart-cities/


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