Alphabet's unit developing signs for public monitoring

Friday, 19. April 2019 20:45

A project for transparency in urban sensing and networking systems resulted in prototypes for signage intended to inform people about surrounding cameras, transit card readers, bike lane counters, Wi-Fi and other systems. Alphabet Inc.'s unit Sidewalk Labs Llc, which builds technology innovations in cities, said on Friday that it came up with "a consistent, linear way to organize and present information" including QR codes leading to more detailed descriptions.

"There’s little transparency about what data these technologies are collecting, by whom, and for what purposes. Signage that does appear in the public realm often contains either small snippets, which give no indication of how to follow up or ask more questions, or multiple paragraphs of dense text," the firm's representatives wrote on Medium. The design is free for adoption and improvement.

The digital literacy endeavor is separated into three shapes for info on the hardware and purpose of the surveillance technology, the software and data behind the sensors, and the storage solutions.

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