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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

From getting a license to paying taxes, we routinely give cities granular data on who we are, where we live, what we do and how much we earn.

Why it matters: “City Hall has a treasure trove of information about you,” says Ann Cavoukian, a privacy expert at Ryerson University. “You have no choice but to give them information.”

For example: New York's LinkNYC WiFi hotspots, which also have cameras, can analyze images of people passing by particular kiosks. Over time, images could be linked to their identity and other sensitive data, like credit scores.

  • Theoretically, that information could then be used to place ads for payday loans around that kiosk, says Katya Abazajian, Open Cities director at the Sunlight Foundation.

If predictions turn out to be true, 5G-connected devices (dashcams, bikes, umbrellas, clothing, keys) and city infrastructure (streetlights, stop signs, utility lines) equipped with elaborate sensor networks will be able to pinpoint your real-time location.

  • But the explosion of data and always-connected items will lead to new and unpredictable applications.
  • For example, sensors could track how frequently you go to the gym or cameras could see how often you run red lights — data that insurance companies might be interested in, Abazajian said.

The bottom line: "As tech companies get more and more consent from people to collect data on how they live their lives, there are going to be more unexpected uses of that data to shape your access to consumer goods or any services," says Abazajian.

  • "It's all about who is sharing the data with whom. And we just don't know that right now."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

U.S: Nord Stream 2 "will not move forward" if Russia invades Ukraine

U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price during a press briefing at the State Department in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. will make sure the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project between Russia and Germany won't go ahead if Russian troops invade Ukraine, State Department spokesperson Ned Price told NPR on Wednesday.

Why it matters: Germany's ambassador to the U.S. appeared to support Price's strong rhetoric on the strategically significant pipeline that would circumvent Ukrainian transit infrastructure and deliver Russian gas directly to Germany, eliminating one of the last deterrents Ukraine has against an invasion, per Axios' Zachary Basu.

Scoop: Stephanie Ruhle to replace Brian Williams on MSNBC

Photo: Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

MSNBC will soon announce plans to move morning anchor Stephanie Ruhle to the 11 pm ET hour that Brian Williams turned into an elite destination, two sources familiar with the move tell Axios.

Details: The 9 am ET hour, currently hosted by Ruhle, will become part of MSNBC's flagship morning show, "Morning Joe," which currently runs from 6 am to 9 am ET.

Oath Keepers leader denied bail on Capitol riot sedition charge

Oath Keepers co-founder Elmer Stewart Rhodes. Photo: Susan Walsh/AP

A federal judge ordered Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes to remain jailed Wednesday until trial on charges stemming from the Capitol riot.

Why it matters: The judge said the most prominent far-right figure charged in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection had access to weapons and his alleged "continued advocacy for violence against the federal government" gave credence to prosecutors' view that, if released, Rhodes could endanger others.