We rely on and deeply value the hard work of journalists who have helped us understand what's at stake in Sidewalk Labs' proposal to build a smart city test bed on Toronto's Waterfront. We started broadcasting a list of #MustReads in our newsletter in April 2019; here is a repository of those links. (If you have others to add, let us know: blocksidewalk.ca/contact)
Blayne Haggart, "Federal leaders should face tough questions about Toronto's smart city project," Building.ca, September 23, 2019.
Julia Carrie Wong, "Google upended Pittsburgh, but will the city's working class roots transform the tech industry?" The Guardian, September 23, 2019.
"What's fueling the smart-city backlash?" University of Pennsylvannia/Wharton School of Business, September 24, 2019.
Ryan Deto, "Pittsburgh Google contractors vote to form union with United Steelworkers." Pittsburgh City Paper, September 24, 2019.
Evgeny Morozov, "Digitale Stadt [Digital City]," Keynote address, Wien Waechst, September 25, 2019 [see 6:25 for comments on Sidewalk Labs]
Donovan Vincent, "Sidewalk Labs' urban data trust is "problematic," says Ontario privacy commissioner," Toronto Star, September 26, 2019.
Jeff Gray, Josh O'Kane and Rachel Younglai, "Sidewalk Labs Toronto project lacks independent oversight, has insufficient public role, privacy watchdog says," Globe and Mail, September 26, 2019.
Remington Tonar, Ellis Talton, "Why Sidewalk Labs' Toronto plan is flawed." Forbes, September 26, 2019.
Makena Kelly, "Elizabeth Warren wants to hire an army of nerds to defeat Google's lobbyists; "Our representatives shouldn't have to rely on Google's policy team." The Verge, September 27, 2019.
Siobhan O'Flynn, "We street-proof our kids. Why aren't we data-proofing them?" The Conversation, September 29, 2019.
Jane Wakefield, "Google's "smart city" plans "tech for tech's sake,"" BBC News, September 12, 2019.
Bianca Wylie, "The missing dimension in the Sidewalk Toronto vision," Azure Magazine, September 2019.
Luke Mullins, "Big Tech is about to spend a ton of money fighting these people." The Washingtonian, September 15, 2019.
Alex Bozikovic, "The $500 million discount at the heart of Sidewalk Labs' smart city proposal," The Globe and Mail, September 15, 2019.
Ellen P. Goodman, "Sidewalk Toronto tech and the master plan: it's as bad as we thought." Medium, September 16, 2019.
Catherine MacIntyre, "Drones, AI and "progressive" regulations: How the federal government tried to sell Amazon on investing in Canada." The Logic, September 16, 2019.
Facebook advertisers can add their own headlines for shared news stories," CBC News, September 16, 2019."
Mariana Valverde and Alex Flynn, "Google's Smart City project for Toronto," The Metropole, September 18, 2019.
Blayne Haggart, "Federal leaders should face tough questions about Toronto's smart city project," The Conversation, September 18, 2019.
Donovan Vincent, "Public feedback on Sidewalk Labs' master plan ranges from "conditionally receptive" to "distrustful."" Toronto Star, September 20, 2019.
Jim Balsille, "Canada is pushing its tech sector into a race to the bottom." Globe and Mail, September 21, 2019.
Sarah Fulford, "Is Google's smart city stupid? Sidewalk Labs has a PR battle on its hands." Toronto Life, September 9, 2019
Shirrin Ghaffary, "Dozens of Google employees say they were retaliated against for reporting harrassment," Vox, September 9, 2019.
Richard Nieva, "Google hit by anti-trust probe from 50 attorneys general," CNET, September 9, 2019
Geoffrey Fowler, "Google is always listening. Now it's watching, too, with the Nest Hub Max," Washington Post, September 9, 2019.
Amanda Roth,"Waterfront Toronto's Digital Strategy Advisory Panel calls Sidewalk Labs' plan "frustratingly abstract." The Logic, September 10, 2019
Ian Bickis, "Sidewalk plans for Quayside "frustratingly abstract," advisory panel says." Canadian Press, September 10, 2019.
Steve Tufts, "Pension plans should not invest in companies that harm working people," Toronto Star, September 11, 2019.
Leyland Cecco, "'Irrelevant': report pours scorn over Google's ideas for Toronto smart city," The Guardian, September 11, 2019.
Hanna Lee, "Waterfront Toronto should not approve Sidewalk Labs smart-city proposal, subscribers say," The Logic, September 12, 2019.
Amrita Khalid,"Sidewalk Labs' controversial data collection project is now a company," Engadget, September 12, 2019.
Sam Ross Brown, "Disrupting democracy: When Big Tech takes over a city." The Prospect, September 13, 2019.
Alex Bozikovic, "Can Sidewalk Labs build the future of wood? We'll see." Globe and Mail, September 13, 2019
Bianca Wylie, "The trouble with (and power of) Sidewalk's silence on 12." Biancawylie.com, August 25, 2019.
Bijan Stephen, "Youtube says it won't negotiate with Youtubers union," The Verge, August 26, 2019.
Blayne Haggart, "Liveblog review of Sidewalk Labs' Master Innovation and Development Plan," Blayne Haggart's Orangespace, August 27, 2019. ** Note: this is the entire blog captured on one saveable/searchable page
Miriam Gottfried, "Alphabet dips its toe into infrastructure investing." Wall St. Journal, August 29, 2019.
Greg Benzinger, "Google workers move to form a union amid employee discord over treatment." Washington Post, August 30, 2019.
Gabrielle M. Rejouis, "Why is it OK for employers to constantly surveil workers?" Slate, September 2, 2019.
Natasha Singer and Kate Conger, "Google is fined $170 million for violating children's privacy on Youtube," New York Times, September 4, 2019.
"What does Google really want from Toronto? 18 big thinkers take a critical look at the Sidewalk plan." Toronto Life, September 4, 2019. See especially:
- "The Backstory," by Jason Mcbride
- "Toronto is surveillance capitalism's new frontier," Shoshana Zuboff
- "A smart city should serve its users, not mine their data," Cory Doctorow
- "The Sidewalk Labs deal is unconstitutional," Michael Bryant
- "Toronto needs to maintain control of its transit planning," Gord Perks
- "Sidewalk's affordable housing plan isn't really affordable," Jennifer Keesmat
- "Corporations should not be controlling our city-building," Bianca Wylie
"How algorithms create a digital underclass," CBC Radio, September 4, 2019.
Adi Robertson, "Google employees and critics protest Eric Schmidt's keynote at Stanford AI conference," MSN News, September 4, 2019.
Natasha Bernal, "Google accused of secretly feeding personal data to advertisers." AFP, September 4, 2019.
Jared Linzon, "How Toronto's locals soured on Alphabet's neighbourhood of the future." Fast Company, September 6, 2019.
Daisuke Wakabayashi, "Senators urge Google to give temporary workers full-time status." New York Times, August 5, 2019.
"Foodora couriers in Toronto preparing to vote on union certification," Canadian Press, August 7, 2019.
Jonathan Stempel, "Facebook loses facial recognition appeal, must face privacy class action suit." USA News, August 8, 2019.
Robert Benzie, David Rider, "Ford warns that an expanded Sidewalk Labs community is 'a terrible deal for taxpayers'," Toronto Star, August 12, 2019.
Sean McDonald and Bianca Wylie, "Sidewalk Labs, the candidate." Biancawylie.com, August 13, 2019.
John Cook, "Jeffrey Epstein was meeting with Silicon Valley reports before his arrest, 'rambling' about all the people he knew in tech." Business Insider, August 13, 2019.
Vipal Monga, "Silicon Valley looks north as tech giants expand in Toronto," Toronto Star/Wall St. Journal, August 19, 2019.
Bianca Wylie, "Dear Toronto Star Editorial Board," Biancawylie.com, August 20, 2019.
Blayne Haggart, "The Toronto Star, Sidewalk Labs and the tediousness of Us v. Them journalism." Blayne Haggart's Orangespace, August 21, 2019.
Ben Lovejoy, "France says 'crazy' that Apple and others get 'permanent tax haven status'." 9to5Mac, August 22, 2019.
Alexandra Berzon, Shane Shifflett and Justin Scheck. "Amazon has ceded control of its site. The result: Thousands of banned, unsafe or mislabeled products." Wall St. Journal, August 23, 2019.
Thorben Wieditz, “Thorben Wieditz spokesperson for Block Sidewalk talks about the possible end of Sidewalk Labs’ project if disagreements persist.” The John Oakley Show, August 6, 2019.
Jonathan Lamont, “Halloween will mark end of Sidewalk Labs’ project if disagreements persist.” MobileSyrup, August 3, 2019.
Tara Deschamps, “Deal allows Waterfront Toronto to block controversial Sidewalk Labs project by fall if key issues not resolved.” Globe and Mail, August 2, 2019.
David Rider, “Sidewalk Labs’ project in Toronto could be dead by October if disagreements persist.” Toronto Star, August 2, 2019.
Blayne Haggart, “My submission to Waterfront Toronto Quayside development consultations.” Blaynehaggart.wordpress.com, August 1, 2019.
Natasha Tusikov, “Sidewalk Toronto’s master plan raises urgent concerns about data and privacy.” The Conversation, July 30, 2019.
Emily Deruy, "Lawsuit: San Jose failed to record closed meetings about Google." The Mercury News, August 2, 2019.
Jill Mahoney, Karen Howlett, "Ontario's influencers: How the heads of lobbying firms have become part of Doug Ford's inner circle." Globe and Mail, July 22, 2019.
David McLaughlin, Kurt Wagner, Naomi Nix. "Big Tech faces Department of Justice anti-trust probe." Bloomberg News, July 23, 2019.
Gina Kolata, "Your data were anonymized? These scientists can still identify you." New York Times, July 23, 2019.
Blayne Haggart, "Time to reset Waterfront Toronto's smart city public consultations." The Conversation, July 24, 2019.
Kate Kaye, "What's hidden in a Sidewalk Labs government contract," Red Tail Media, July 26, 2019.
Jason Miller, "Sidewalk Labs CEO defends waterfront project in critical online Q&A." Toronto Star, July 26, 2019.
Matthew Stewart, "The deceptive platform utopianism of Google's Sidewalk Labs." Failed Architecture, July 26, 2019.
Jeff Biggar, "Time is now to have your say on Sidewalk's bold vision for Toronto." Toronto Star, July 28, 2019.
James McLeod, "'Eyes fully open': Waterfront Toronto executive says agency is keeping tabs on Sidewalk parent's missteps." Financial Post, July 17, 2019.
"Who owns the data? Questions emerge at Sidewalk Labs consultations about 1500-page proposal." CBC News, July 18, 2019.
Forum poll, "Support for Sidewalk Toronto mixed," July 19, 2019.
Blayne Haggart, "Live-blogging Sidewalk's Master Innovation and Development Plan," Blayne Haggart's Orangespace.
David Olive, "We don't need smart cities. We need sensible ones." Toronto Star, July 20, 2019.
David Rider, "Critics are calling Sidewalk Labs' proposal to create new oversight agencies a power grab." Toronto Star, June 30, 2019.
Aria Bendix, "Sidewalk Labs shared its $900 million plan to remake Toronto's waterfront. Local activists said it deepened their concerns." Business Insider, June 30, 2019.
Julia Carrie Wong, "'We all suffer': Why San Francisco techies hate the city they transformed." The Guardian, July 1, 2019.
Nabeel Ahmed, "The City versus Big Tech." Briarpatch, July 2, 2019.
Shoshana Zuboff, "It's not that we've failed to rein in Facebook and Google. We've not even tried." The Guardian, July 2, 2019.
Mariana Valverde, "The Google "smart city" plan: Financial language of hi-tech colonialism." Ryerson Centre for Free Expression, July 2, 2019.
Lauren Jacobs, "Toronto, it's not you - it's Google." Toronto Star, July 3, 2019.
Allan Smith, "After years of big spending, tech's political machine turns to high gear." CNBC, July 3, 2019.
Hannah Alberga, "Torontonians are showing their support for and objections to Sidewalk Labs," BlogTO, July 4, 2019.
Sean Micallef, "If Sidewalk Labs wants a piece of our waterfront, they should show us their payroll," Toronto Star, July 5, 2019
Sarah Griffiths, ""It felt like we were in prison." What happens if a hypersurveillance approach to spying on workers becomes the norm?" BBC, July 8, 2019.
Kate Conger, Noam Schreiber, "Employee organizing is alive in tech. It stops short of organizing unions." New York Times, July 8, 2019.
Murad Hemmadi, "Foreign tech giants have more than tripled their lobbying since Justin Trudeau became Prime Minister," The Logic, July 8, 2019.
Matt McFarland, "Alphabet's plans to track people in its 'smart city' ring alarm bells." July 9, 2019.
Veena Dubal, "Google as a landlord? A looming feudal nightmare." The Guardian, July 11, 2019.
Alex Hearn, "Google whistleblower launches project to keep tech ethical," The Guardian, July 13, 2019.
Josh O'Kane, Jeff Gray, "Sidewalk reveals $1.3 billion waterfront plan: Google affiliate calls for expanded transit and rewriting of municipal, provincial laws for 190 acres in Toronto's Port Lands." Globe and Mail, June 25, 2019.
Alex Bozikovic, "Sidewalk opts for platitudes in place of a plan," Globe and Mail, June 25, 2019.
Amanda Roth, Murad Hemmadi, Zane Schwartz,"Special report: Key Takeaways from Sidewalk Labs' long awaited innovation plan," The Logic, June 24, 2019.
John Lorinc, "Sidewalk Labs and the problem of smart city governance." Spacing, June 25, 2019<
Ian Austen, "Trash-picking robots? Park bench monitors? Toronto debates tech giant's waterfront plans." New York Times, June 24, 2019.
Jordan Pearson, "Sidewalk Labs' 1500- page plan for Toronto is a democracy grenade." Vice, June 24, 2019
Tara Deschamps, "Google sister company releases details for controversial Toronto project." The Guardian, June 24, 2019.
David Rider, "Sidewalk Labs wants to buy, develop and sell public land." Toronto Star, June 25, 2019.
May Warren, "'Urban data trust' pledged to protect privacy, but critics question if firm's 'untested' plan is worth the risk." Toronto Star, June 25, 2019.
Ben Spur, "Sidewalk Labs wants to create a new transportation authority," Toronto Star, June 25, 2019.
Editorial, "The cracks in Sidewalk Labs' latest plans for Toronto," Globe and Mail, June 25, 2019.
Leader of worker protests at Google quits, alleging retaliation by company," CBS News, June 7, 2019.
Claire Legros, "A Toronto, la « ville Google » en quête d’une gouvernance de ses données numériques." Le Monde, June 14, 2019.
Kate Kaye, "Portland quietly launches mobile location data project with Alphabet’s controversial Sidewalk Labs," GeekWire, 5/28/2019
Brent Kendall, John McKinnon, "Justice Department Is Preparing Antitrust Investigation of Google," Wall St. Journal, 6/1/2019
Geoff Zochodne, Sean Craig, "Order of Canada architect, Silicon Valley investor call for rethink of Sidewalk Labs' Toronto waterfront project," Financial Post, 6/5/2019
Ian Bickis, "Venture capitalist Roger McNamee urges Toronto to pull plug on Sidewalk Labs," Canadian Press, 6/5/2019
Amanda Roth, "Several Big Tech critics urge City of Toronto to abandon Sidewalk Labs smart-city project," The Logic, 6/5/2019
David Rider, "Mayor’s executive committee takes next step in Quayside deal with Google sister company," Toronto Star, 6/6/2019
Momin Qureshi, "Former RIM CEO voices concerns over Sidewalk Labs," CityNews, 6/6/2019
Nicole Aschoff, "Tech billionaires think Sim City is real life." Jacobin Magazine, May 22, 2019
Thorben Wieditz, "Let's not be dazzled by Google's Master Plan for Toronto," Toronto Star, May 22, 2019
Daniel Konikoff and Akwasi Owusu-Bempah, "Big Data and Criminal Justice: What Canadians should know." Broadbent Institute, May 21, 2019
Ellen P. Goodman and Julia Powles, "Urbanism under Google: Lessons from Sidewalk Toronto." German Marshall Fund, May 20, 2019
Josh O'Kane, "Inside the mysteries and missteps of Toronto's smart city dream." Globe and Mail, May 17, 2019
Cybele Sack, "Google dodging hard questions on Quayside proposal's Big Data risks; Member of the residents panel struck by Google to provide input on its smart city plans says the process lacked transparency and "felt like a sales job." Now Magazine, May 16, 2019.
Siobhan O'Flynn, "Protecting children's data privacy in the smart city." National Post, May 16, 2019.
Bianca Wylie, "Democracy or Sidewalk Toronto. You can have one but you can't have both." Medium, May 14, 2019.
Mariana Valverde, "Google's "Urban Data" plan: Evading regulation while promoting the appearance of transparency." Centre for Free Expression, May 13, 2019.
Rosemary Frei, "Google's private transit power play in the Port Lands." NOW Magazine, May 2, 2019.
Daniella Barreto, "Normalizing mass surveillance: Sidewalk Labs' threat to human rights," Now Magazine, April 27, 2019
Amanda Lang, "Waterfront Toronto never had authority to greenlight Sidewalk Labs project: Civil liberties group," BNN Bloomberg, April 17, 2019
Alex Bozikovic, "Hudson Yards, New York's $25 billion megaproject, proves corporate development does not make a great city." Globe and Mail, April 12, 2019 (available through Toronto Public Library)