New Working paper for the Cities and digital technology chair
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THE FIRST Working paper OF THE YEAR OF THE CITIES AND DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY CHAIR IS NOW ONLINE.
Alvaro Artigas, associate researcher at Sciences Po’s Centre for European Studies and Comparative Policy and member of the Strategic Committee of the Cities and digital technology chair, discusses the growth of Chinese ICT companies (Information and communication technologies) and its consequences.
Abstract : The global deployment of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) firms has been facilitated in recent years by a vast array of new technologies, ranging from communication networks, lighter and faster infrastructure as well as a new sense of available capabilities by realtime communication systems. Drawing on the possibilities allowed by new technological advancements, such as real-time communication feeds, data collection and aggregation, these companies have irrupted and increasingly disrupted the global scene and engaged in previously neglected areas of activity. As a result of this tropism, the provision of security in major world cities has been transformed and traditional CCTV circuits are being displaced and new safe city systems, that bear the promise of omniscience in urban territories through enhanced analytics and continuous innovation. Chinese companies, such as ZTE and Huawei have spearheaded this transformation, as a result of unprecedented financial and organizational means, that combine State support, long-time sectoral trajectories and the capacity to test at the global level all-inclusive platforms that seek to promote both security and safety in cities. Far from being gradual, this change spans today across continents and regions, and aggregates previously disconnected datasets that pertain to human security, often beyond socially accepted boundaries. This report seeks to explain the dynamics as well as the limits of this transformation, resorting to these corporations’ strategies as to explain how surveillance regulatory frameworks could rapidly evolve in a not so distant future.