ACM Technology Policy Council Releases TechBrief on Smart Cities

May 5, 2022

ACM's global Technology Policy Council (ACM TPC) has released "ACM TechBrief: Smart Cities." The TechBrief highlights the challenges involved in deploying information and communication technology to create "Smart Cities" and calls for policy leaders planning such projects to do so without compromising security, privacy, fairness, and sustainability. The TechBrief includes a primer on smart cities, key statistics about the growth and use of these technologies, and a short list of important policy implications.

Because of the meteoric growth and clear benefits of smart city technologies, the TechBrief notes that now is an urgent time to address some of the important public policy concerns that smart city technologies raise. The TechBrief also lists four key policy implications that government officials, as well as the private companies that develop these technologies, should consider.

  • Cybersecurity risks must be considered at every stage of every smart city technology’s life cycle.
  • Effective privacy protection mechanisms must be an essential component of any smart city technology deployed.
  • Such mechanisms should be transparently fair to all city users, not just residents.
  • The climate impact of smart city infrastructures must be fully understood as they are being designed and regularly assessed after they are deployed.

This TechBrief is the third in a series of short technical bulletins by ACM TPC that present scientifically grounded perspectives on the impact of specific developments or applications of technology. Designed to complement ACM's activities in the policy arena, TechBriefs aim to inform policymakers, the public, and others about the nature and implications of information technologies. The first ACM TechBrief focused on climate change, while the second addressed facial recognition. Topics under consideration for future issues include quantum computing, election security, and encryption.

Read the ACM news release.