Growth consulting firm Frost & Sullivan has announced that it will soon publish new research on smart cities with respect to security. The research is based on assessments of over 600 of the most populous cities in the world over the past year, and the researchers were particularly concerned with questions of security threats and technological advancement.
One of the more interesting findings that Frost & Sullivan has already revealed is that, largely due to historical legacies, the US and Europe already have large-scale infrastructure in place for video surveillance programs, allowing them to use smart city technology to get “near real time information” for city management. The rest of the world, according to the researchers, has largely been focused on catching up in terms of establishing such infrastructure, while the US has been setting the pace.
That having been said, the researchers also say that the wealthiest cities in Central Asia and the Middle East are catching up quickly, as is Russia in its attempts to securitize leading up to its hosting of the FIFA World Cup in 2018.
The concept of the “smart city” is intertwined somewhat with the Internet of Things – both are embodiments of the growing interconnectivity emerging between everyday devices, and both present great opportunities as well as serious concerns with respect to security and abuse. Biometric technology like facial recognition, for example, has been emblematic of the debate, with governments around the world keen to implement it in their big cities for security purposes, and privacy and civil rights advocates warning about the dangers of letting the state have unfettered access to such data.