How does Facebook become the new strong ally of Smart Cities?

The general population of the cities will grow by 63 per cent between 2014 and 2050. France has many Smart Cities as for example: Lyon with theirs smart grids; Lille with SunRise, a laboratory school; Dijon, pioneer city with the centralization of the public space.

Smart Cities have emerged as a way out to the challenges and opportunities created by rapid urbanization. Today, all the stakeholders use social networks, such as Instagram, Twitter, or more specifically Facebook, to promote their city or simply to relay their events. With the exponential growth of the Smart Cities, what are the uses of Facebook?


  • Facebook: Major information tool

Communities use their Facebook profiles to relay quickly any useful information available for connected people (traffic, work, events, exceptional circumstances). Facebook has announced plans to develop job search on its platform. Users may be allowed to find jobs close to home and apply directly with theirs profiles. Companies could also post work opportunities and sponsor them, and be able to appear for the profiles matching with the location and field of competence.

  • Facebook: Gold Mine for Data serving Smart Cities

Smart City uses often data collected by the physical sensor, but social networks – with their geolocation data – could be another promising source to increase understanding of Smart cities opportunities. These new types of data are cheap comparing with installing physical sensors. From a security perspective, could Facebook become the new safety officer of our cities? Does Facebook contribute to make them safer?

It can not only prevent and alert noise pollution but also alert crime and others forms of deviance? For instance, Safety Check (or also called Facebook Crisis Response), set up by Facebook, has been used for the first time during the attacks in Paris (November 2015) and has been extended for every Facebook’s users.

When Safety Check is activated, Facebook’s users can send a notification to confirm that they are safe in a dangerous zone.

But Safety Check raises several questions: What is the legitimacy of a private company to determine the security of an event? When should I activate this tool?

  • Facebook and his interest in urban planning:

Social networks can be used particularly to all issues related to urban planning: preventing broken bench or improving the management of wastes … Citizens could become actors and co-create their city where data contribute more to the public interest.

  • Facebook: New performer for public health?

Facebook could follow the example of the social network, Yelp. In the coming years, they will detect some restaurants that do not respect the food hygiene regulation. Why not create a platform that identifies the customer feedback (mentioning key words like “vomits” or “food poisoning”) in order to warn the authorities and geolocate these restaurants?


We are on the eve of a historic new way of thinking and acting the strategy …

A propos de Camille MINEUR

Depuis toujours passionnée par la lecture et le droit, et en même temps jamais bien loin d'une connexion internet, allier travail et passion m'a naturellement dirigé vers le droit des nouvelles technologies. Avec une petite préférence pour la protection des données personnelles ainsi que les contrats informatiques.

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