Sidewalk Labs is a sister company of Google, under the umbrella of global giant Alphabet Inc. Sidewalk has its eye on Toronto’s Portlands and we’d better keep an eye on them. I signed up to follow #blocksidewalk. Danica and I went to our first meeting tonight, at the Ralph Thornton Centre.
Councillor Fletcher touched briefly on privacy and data collection issues that threaten to turn Torontonians into lab rats, but put more emphasis on the “land grab”. The stakes are huge and we have already been kept in the dark about development plans for years.
A crowd of nearly 200 cheered the lawsuit launched by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association against Sidewalk Labs. Waterfront Toronto (Sidewalk’s planning partner in all this) has finally agreed to let everyone read the Sidewalk Labs proposal within a week of receiving it. That’s a BIG deal that got many thumbs up. Far too much has been going on behind closed doors up until now.
Tonight’s meeting was mainly about process. I tend to glaze over when bureaucratese is spoken, but it’s like reading the small print lawyers love. We don’t like it, but we can’t ignore it if we don’t want to be swindled.
I will show you something I found encouraging, in the next photo. Look at all those young heads of hair.
Young, energetic, tech savvy citizens are resisting, demanding to be fully informed and consulted.