Our world is becoming increasingly urbanised, with 60 percent of the global population expected to live in cities by 2050. This is already placing unprecedented strains on infrastructure and forcing urban planners to seek creative ways to accommodate this growth.
Welcome to the future of smart cities.
With the new model of “smart cities” development, cities are digitally transformed to improve urban life. It involves the deployment of technology investments across the city, led by the use of Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and devices, to connect every dimension of a city from the air, the street and underground.
“It's when you can derive data from everything that is connected and utilise it to improve the lives of citizens and improve communication between citizens and the government that a city becomes a smart city,” said Esmeralda Swartz, head of strategy and marketing of the software business unit for Ericsson.
The rush toward investments in smart cities and the IoT is already in full swing, with IDC reporting that smart city initiatives attracted technology investments of more than $81 billion globally in 2018, and that spending is set to grow to $158 billion in 2022.
Law enforcement agencies around the world have taken note of the fast-moving trend toward smart cities and are mobilising to share insights with each other about the implications of this new urban model for police departments. If smart cities are inevitable, law enforcement professionals want to make sure they are safe and secure.
To support this global mobilisation and collaboration of agencies, the INTERPOL Innovation Centre recently hosted the first global police expert meeting to analyse how criminal investigations will be conducted in a smart city. This two-day “Smart Cities & IoT Experts Meeting” was focused on a central question: What will the police function look like in a “connected” environment?
More than 50 participants from 13 countries gathered in Singapore for this historic meeting and AccessData was honoured to be the only digital forensics software provider to participate in the group. It was our tremendous privilege to exchange ideas with law enforcement professionals from countries all over the world, as well as a cross-disciplinary team of experts from academia, cybersecurity, urban planning and other relevant fields.
INTERPOL members agreed there are important challenges in front of all of us regarding data ownership and sharing, the risks of unsafe or insufficiently tested technical tools, and the need to align law enforcement processes and procedures. They also agreed that much is already possible to leverage technology systems in a way that supports police officers in smart cities — such as self-thinking cameras, facial recognition, crowd, textual and video analytics, and data mining.
As the meeting concluded, the INTERPOL members and representatives from both private industry and academia all committed to ongoing cooperation with each other in order to make sure we are prepared to deliver safe and secure smart cities of the future. AccessData is proud to serve alongside these professionals and will continue to remain engaged as a partner to law enforcement teams worldwide.