Personal data fuels smart city programs
Source: ZDnet on January 18, 2017 | Bob Violino
If you live in a big city, chances are pretty good that you'll be sharing a lot more of your personal information with government entities within a few years. Research firm Gartner predicts that by 2019, half of
citizens in million-people cities will benefit from smart city programs by voluntarily sharing their personal data. The volume and diversity of the information generated by citizens will continue to rise in line with the proliferation of consumer devices and the Internet of Things (IoT), the firm says.
Citizens of smart cities will experience some of the benefits of sharing data passively, through government and commercial collaboration. But as this hyperconnectivity picks up pace, they will become more aware of the value of their personal data and will be willing to proactively exchange it for "in the moment" value, Gartner says.
What will help drive the data-sharing trend is the fact that the rapid pace of technological and societal change is giving government chief information officers a new sense of urgency and a willingness to experiment with smart city and open data initiatives, according to Gartner. If managed effectively, this shift will position governments at the core of technological innovation in society.
"As citizens increasingly use personal technology and social networks to organize their lives, governments and businesses are growing their investments in technology infrastructure and governance," said Anthony Mullen, research director at Gartner. "This creates open platforms that enable citizens, communities and businesses to innovate and collaborate, and ultimately provide useful solutions that address civic needs."
The process of data sharing is also being sped up by demands for efficiency and convenience. For example, a major barrier for citizens interacting with government is the complexity of engaging through a variety of touch points. Simple queries about a person's eligibility to vote can lead people through complex processes and rules and onto multiple websites.
Citizens are turning to conversational platforms such as virtual personal assistants and chatbots over traditional applications and websites, Gartner notes. At the same time, government agencies are also adapting to this change.