The people of Salford are being asked what they think about the development of ‘smart cities’ and how it can affect their privacy.

Salford Professor of Media Policy, Seamus Simpson, along with Dr Evie Lucas (Manchester Metropolitan University) and project researcher Dr Eileen Wattam are currently exploring the topic of privacy in smart cities and are seeking volunteers to participate in a short questionnaire.

The project ‘Human Lives, Privacy and Smart Cities in the UK – Towards a human-centred approach to future urban living’ is currently in its pilot phase which explores developments in Greater Manchester, one of the UK’s most prominent smart cities.

A large proportion of people now live and work in places and spaces where information about everyday activities undertaken is observed, recorded and transformed into data. These data can be used for various purposes, such as planning the provision and management of public services.

In urban environments where this has occurred, the term ‘Smart Cities’ has begun to be used to refer to places in which such data collection and analysis occurs. The goal is to provide cleaner, more efficient and better quality services for people. Greater Manchester is one of the UK’s most prominent Smart Cities.

The research team want to find out more about how much people know about what happens in Smart Cities and what they think about the way in which data collection within them works. One particular issue is the views of people on the privacy implications of data collection that occurs in smart cities.

The project wishes to find out more about this through its questionnaire. People who respond are not expected to know anything about Smart Cities. The questionnaire will provide a short definition of a Smart City and give a few examples of Smart City services. The research team would like your views on the gathering of personal information that occurs in the provision of the chosen services. In particular, the team want to know people’s views on what these services mean for them in terms of your privacy.

The questionnaire is anonymous and the information gathered will be used in academic publications and policy and citizen briefs that the researchers hope to produce from the project. If you can spare a few minutes to complete the questionnaire, please got to:

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