Technology Policy & Ethics – March 2019

Caveats for the Emergence of Virtual Wallets

By Najee Searcy and Syed Hassan Ahmed

As smartphones have become integrated in the daily lives of citizens of developed nations, common monetary transactions that at one point in time required the consumer to search their cars, couches, and coat pockets for spare change can now be completed with the tap of a finger on their smartphone. Examples of these situations may include paying a toll or purchasing a beverage from a vending machine. One major factor considered to be a catalyst for the shift to virtual wallets is the idea that cashless transactions are more convenient[1]. Opposing ideas to this shift in commerce trends include concerns about security, and the criticisms can be translated to the fear of putting all your eggs in one basket[2]. By analyzing the pros and cons of the strengthening relationship between the smartphone and commerce, a clearer understanding of its limitations can be achieved.

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Are Smart Cities Smart?

By H. Kieu, L. Borrello, KC Samiran, J. Martin, K. Watts, S. Jones

It is estimated that by 2030, 70% of the global population will live in cities. Cities today need to accommodate more people, as well as create a sustainable environment with efficient resources. Therefore, the concept of smart cities, which entails utilizing technological innovations, has become an important priority on many cities’ agendas [1]. We will attempt to answer the question: “Are smart cities smart?” by looking at the five pillars associated with smart cities – Smart Grid, E-Governance, Infrastructure and Transportation, Crime Prevention, and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) applications.

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