Add your reaction
Google's move off our screens and into our physical environments has picked up steam - just as new controversies about the tech giant surface.
Last week, Google announced that its affiliate Sidewalk Labs had entered into a partnership with the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners) to develop "technology-enabled infrastructure" throughout North America. Google is apparently not waiting for its proposed Toronto "test-bed" to be approved to move further into our infrastructure, utilities and physical environment.
But communities organizing around the impact of big tech are talking to one another.
Over the summer, several groups dealing with Google in their own communities have supported the call to #BlockSidewalk, including RethinkLink in New York, Silicon Valley Rising in San Jose, Digital Commonwealth Alliance in Portland and the F#$&*Off Google movement based in Berlin.
Add your reaction
Draft summaries from Waterfront Toronto's July consultations were released last week, and we were encouraged to see the large number and wide range of concerns over Sidewalk Labs' proposals expressed there.*
A common thread runs through the draft reports from almost every single breakout group and plenary session: a lack of trust in Sidewalk/Google, and concerns over the company's track record, its intentions, its immense influence/power and its behaviour in Toronto. We concur.
*We've heard from many of you that the public consultations on Sidewalk Labs' Master Plan (MIDP) were not accessible or difficult to engage with. We will continue to flag other ways to learn about and respond to Sidewalk Labs' plans (official consultations and community initiatives alike) through these channels.
THIS WEEK'S ACTIONS
Get ready for an action-packed fall.
A few weeks ago, Waterfront Toronto announced it would terminate its partnership with Sidewalk Labs/Google on October 31st if the company did not meet a few key conditions. This is a significant development.