CHINA – Smart Cities with Chinese Characteristics (Hiddai Segev, INSS)

The rapid growth of the global urban population demands more sophisticated management of both life in an urban setting and the resources in this environment—leading to the idea of “the smart city” that is equipped with a range of smart, advanced technologies. In recent years, Israel has also begun to develop plans for smart cities, which will lead inter alia to networked public spaces based on artificial intelligence systems. These systems are naturally potential information and cyber security risks, and risks to national security. Chinese companies export various smart city systems to dozens of countries, including Israel, notwithstanding Western allegations of breaches of human rights and dangers to national security. Israel should prepare a comprehensive national plan to map the existing situation, identify challenges and opportunities for the short and long terms, and manage risks relating to protection of privacy, data security, and cyber protection, from the strategic level down to the definition, deployment, and operation of individual systems.