All about Saudi’s Hyper-Futuristic Surveillance City NEOM
Saudi arabia–Thousands of workers are constructing a futuristic city in the northwest desert of Saudi Arabia, which the country claims will be unique. A high-tech metropolitan centre dubbed The Line will appear out of the ancient sands. It will be carbon neutral and have flying drone taxis, holographic teachers, and even a man-made moon.
The smart city is located within NEOM, a $500 billion commercial district that was created by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to diversify the economy of the top oil exporter in the world. NEOM is expected to be finished by 2025 and is partially funded by the country’s sovereign wealth fund.
While The Line would stack homes and workplaces vertically and mine the data of its 9 million residents, giving citizens more control over their data and paying them for it – a world first, according to an official – while NEOM will have manufacturing and tourism zones.
“There is no data if there is no trust. According to Joseph Bradley, CEO of NEOM Tech & Digital Co., which will be in charge of the consent management platform, “Without data, there is no value.”
Without providing more information, he stated that “this technology allows consumers to examine and clearly comprehend the intention behind the use of their personal data, while also offering financial rewards for authorising the use of their data.”
The Line, like many smart cities, is being built with artificial intelligence at its core, with data being utilised to govern power, water, garbage, transit, healthcare, and security.
In addition, information will be gathered from inhabitants’ smartphones, residences, facial recognition cameras, and a variety of other sensors. According to Bradley, this data collection will feed information back to the city and aid it in anticipating consumer demands.
However, according to experts in digital rights, the nation’s dismal record on human rights does not augur well for responsible data usage or the protection of individual privacy.
Concerns regarding who owns personal data, how it is utilised, and its value have arisen as many parts of daily life have become more digital.
Data dividends, or rewards for data, have been suggested by certain data rights experts, economists, and policymakers. Data is frequently acquired without an individual’s awareness or informed consent.
However, experts disagree on how much to pay and if such incentives will lead to a two-tier system where some people’s data is valued higher than that of others, further entrenching the digital divide’s disparities.
By tricking consumers into using a secret permission platform, data protection laws that protect individuals’ personal information are not replaced “affirmed Marwa Fatafta, regional policy manager at digital rights organisation Access Now.
It sounds like an impending privacy crisis. The addition of money as a motivator is a bad idea since it distorts people’s ability to freely consent and normalises the practise of selling personal information for profit “She spoke. Bradley stated that NEOM authorities are attending to privacy concerns in light of Saudi Arabia’s introduction of a personal data protection law.
It is really a “extreme continuation of what cities do today nevertheless, “According to Jonathan Reichental, an adjunct professor at the University of San Francisco and expert in data governance and smart cities. “We live in a data-driven society; we all consent to the usage of data every day, and cities and organisations utilise that data to, “added he.
Residents of NEOM will have an advantage over non-residents due to receiving payment for their data, he claimed. You miss out on any financial rewards by not participating in that, he said. Engineer Fahd Mohamed, 28, of Jeddah, concurred, stating that he would also agree if he resided in The Line. “Social media platforms, ride-sharing apps, etc. are already using my data,” he claimed. “I get paid, so this system is superior.”