San Diego Smart City Sensors Causing Controversy

Thousands of streetlight sensors are collecting a trove of data—from traffic counts to humidity levels—and advocacy groups say the city needs to be more transparent about how the data is being used and who has access to it.

1 minute read

December 28, 2019, 9:00 AM PST

By Camille Fink


Los Angeles Streetlights

Vincent Diamante / Flickr

"A watchdog group is reportedly suing the City of San Diego over its Smart Streetlights Program, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune and others," reports Katie Pyzyk. The streetlights are part of a program to replace high-energy lights with more efficient LED lights.

The 4,200 intelligent sensors on the streetlights are collecting data that the city says will help with parking, traffic, and public safety. But the group, San Diegans for Open Government, says the data should be made publicly available. Advocacy groups are also concerned about the sensors being used for surveillance purposes.

"And this fall, the controversy widened as reports emerged that the city gave General Electric (GE), the streetlight camera provider, unrestricted rights to the collected data. Some council members said they wanted to stop installing additional smart streetlights until they receive information about how GE might use and sell the collected data," adds Pyzyk.

Thursday, December 19, 2019 in Smart Cities Dive

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