Two major big data experiments have gone largely unheeded. One in democratic Canada and one in authoritarian China. Their impact on the future could be huge.
In Canada, Google is set to re-develop and manage a large area of downtown Toronto. To supporters it’s the realisation of the “smart city” ideal. But critics warn it risks becoming a civic nightmare.
In China, the Communist Party government has been running trials on a “Social Credit System” - a personal rating scheme for all Chinese citizens based on data accrued by the government and Chinese technology companies. Beijing says it’s about building trust, but critics denounce it as mass data surveillance.