Hi, I’m Sam, and I started the Whose Data? project. I live in Toronto, and I’m fascinated by the influence of technology in my life and in my communities.

The idea for this project was born in 2017, when the discussion about the partnership between Sidewalk Labs (owned by Alphabet, Google’s parent company) and Toronto to develop a “neighborhood built from the internet up” took off in earnest in my city and beyond.

Many of the questions raised focused on privacy, data ownership, and control.

Questions like:

Who will own/control/have access to the data that is captured by the sensors deployed in this project? Under what terms will that data be shared? For whom and for what purposes? (source)

I have these questions too.

And I also keep getting distracted by another question: who owns, controls, and has access to my data right now?

The answer is frustratingly hard to find. So, I started Whose Data? as an attempt to help answer that question — and make it easier for more Canadians to do the same.