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Technology’s next big platform will be the built environment

Sidewalk Labs, a subsidiary of Google, was set to develop a $1.3 billion tech-enabled real estate project on the Toronto waterfront. The project was controversial, with privacy advocates concerned about its ability to capture a near-total amount of data from the residents of the development. The economic implications of the global COVID-19 pandemic started to become clear back in March of this year, it seemed as good a time as any for Sidewalk to shutter the project. The company’s stated goal, back in 2017, was “to create a place that encourages innovation around energy, waste and other environmental challenges to protect the planet”.

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