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UAE govt. summit: decision-making, trust key for ‘smart cities’

Due to concerns from individuals over how their data is used, ‘creating a smart city is also about building trust with citizens,’ a panelist said

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The development of smart cities – which heavily utilize technology instead of just traditional infrastructure – needs to be led by firm governmental decision making and building the trust of citizens, a panel at a three-day UAE government summit said on Monday.

Speaking on the panel, Gunso Kim, deputy mayor of Seoul, told delegates how his city was able to launch a night bus service by studying telecom usage trends.

“Seoul was able to launch its night buses through tracking who were sending messages and making phone calls in the middle of the night and more importantly, where were they doing it from,” said Kim, according to UAE newspaper Gulf News.

Due to concerns from individuals over how their data is used, “creating a smart city is also about building trust with citizens, as this is a new journey we are embarking on,” said Xavier Trias, Barcelona’s mayor.

“The key is to build an ecosystem that benefits all sections of the society,” he added, according to a press release.

The personal data of citizens should only be used for solutions that benefit the larger community, the panel said.