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In March of 2017, Sidewalk Labs, a sister company of Google, was chosen by Waterfront Toronto to develop Toronto’s Port Lands. Waterfront Toronto is an organization administering project along Toronto’s Waterfront; it is made up of a partnership between three levels of government: The City of Toronto, the Province of Ontario and the federal government. The deal was meant to develop the eastern waterfront property known as Quayside, which is the largest area of undeveloped waterfront property in a major North American city.

On April 16th, 2019, the CCLA along with co-applicant Lester Brown commenced proceedings against Waterfront Toronto; seeking a reset of the Quayside Project. CCLA argued that Waterfront Toronto never had the authority to turn a Toronto neighbourhood into a data surveillance test-bed nor to make policy regarding the collection, ownership, management or control of residents’ data. The Quayside project would permit the commoditization of personal data and let Sidewalk Labs do non-consensual mass surveillance. This is a violation of Canadians’ personal and collective privacy rights under the Charter of Right and Freedom. CCLA argued The Quayside project was in violation of three sections of the Charter.

In this episode of Justice Vs., we speak to Dr. Brenda McPhail, CCLA’s Privacy, Surveillance and Technology Program Director, Dr. Ben Green author of The Smart Enough City: Putting Technology in its Place to Reclaim Our Urban Future and Professor of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, as well as community member Lester Brown about the case CCLA brought against Waterfront Toronto.

Host: Maria Rio

A big thanks to the Justice Vs. Volunteer Team:

Writing and Research Team: Natalie Sequeira, Kate Tutu, Jeremy Zhang, Luke Ryan, Imran Dhanani, Rachael Dyal, Rachael Bridge, Leo Ghiran, Stella Racca, Sae Furukawa. Managed by Shyloe Fagan and Kelsey Miki.

Audio team: Paul Berry, Ren Bangert and Sam Seguin. Managed by Farid Petesh

Marketing team: Arlet Vazquez, Ren Bangert, Irene Lee, Hope Arpa Chow, and Lauren Sapic. Managed by Soaad Qahhār Hossain

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