Sidewalk Labs wants to develop this area of Toronto's eastern waterfront into an entire "smart" community, but there's been privacy issues backlash (Canadian Press Handout-Sidewalk Labs)

Technology and you in 2019


“Tech” is growing everywhere, from increasing presence of smart phones, laptops, and tablets, to autonomous vehicles, to “smart” appliances and houses, and even entire communities.

But with all this technology, and information about your own activity and habits, what about our privacy?

Amber Mac is a technology expert and author of “Outsmarting Your Kids Online”


This past year saw big tech firms criticised for privacy issues, security breeches, and more.

Amber Mac, tech expert, and author of “Outsmarting Your Kids Online” (supplied)

An idea for a fully integrated “smart community” to be created in an area of Toronto also faced harsh criticism over privacy issues including the resignation of the privacy consultant over her concerns.

RCI: Dec 2018: Smart city threatens privacy

On a personal level, people were getting in trouble for indiscretions online on one hand, or bullying on the other.

A high level Canadian politician had to resign his position due to indiscrete use of the internet and sending intimate photos to people he thought were women, but which turned out to be blackmailers.

RCI:Nov 2018: politician “sexting” scandal

China is using AI and technology to closely monitor its citizens for things like facial expressions that could be precursors to dissent.

On the plus side, Canadian AI technology called “Oscar” is being developed by Intuitive Inc. which is able to better sort waste at large facilities using a camera and image-recognition system to identify and divert trash into the right bin: garbage, recycling or organic.

Another Canadian tech company called North  has created the first pair of  smart glasses that actually look good.

Still, Mac says that as we head into 2019, people should understand that nothing on the web or social media is actually free.  These sites are all profit oriented companies providing a service and they are getting something in return for your “free” access and use, and as such people must always be aware of that.

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2 comments on “Technology and you in 2019
  1. Avatar Andrey says:

    The technology is scary and fantastic at the same time. You really have to know what you are doing on the web and be aware that you have to be careful.

    As far as you aren’t doing anything illegal, who cares about privacy, no? I could be wrong of course, but we’ll be monitored 24/7 very soon in a few years lol. (nothing to be scared of, just a fact in my opinion)

  2. what blood pressure meds are bad!