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Nudging Citizens through Technology in Smart Cities

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Document pages: 44 pages

Abstract: In the last decade, several smart cities throughout the world have started employing Internet of Things, big data, and algorithms to nudge citizens to save more water and energy, live healthily, use public transportation, and participate more actively in local affairs. Thus far, the potential and implications of data-driven nudges and behavioral insights in smart cities have remained an overlooked subject in the legal literature. Nevertheless, combining technology with behavioral insights may allow smart cities to nudge citizens more systematically and help these urban centers achieve their sustainability goals and promote civic engagement. For example, in Boston, real-time feedback on driving has increased road safety and in Eindhoven, light sensors have been used to successfully reduce nightlife crime and disturbance. While nudging tends to be well-intended, data-driven nudges raise a number of legal and ethical issues. This article offers a novel and interdisciplinary perspective on nudging which delves into the legal, ethical, and trust implications of collecting and processing large amounts of personal and impersonal data to influence citizens’ behavior in smart cities.

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