San Diego cops release streetlight spy cam rules

More than a year after San Diego launched a video and audio surveillance network incorporated into 3200 streetlights, the police department has finally released new rules spelling out how the system is used by law enforcement.

Since its inception in early 2017, officials have not been eager to acknowledge the eavesdropping potential of the multi-million-dollar surveillance set-up, dubbed the Intelligent Streetlight project.

Mayoral spokeswoman Jen LeBron went so far as to insist in a February 23, 2017, Reuters account that information gathered by the system's cameras would consist of "anonymous data with no personal identifiers.” Video amassed by the system "is not as detailed as security camera footage," she went on to assert, per the report.

But the facts were different, as revealed in a December 2017 white paper by Lorie Cosio Azar, a former program manager, first reported here this February.

“Video data from digital smart city infrastructure will make it easier to identify, and, therefore, arrest criminals,” according to the document, which touted the potential marketability of data produced by the system to third parties and commercial vendors.

 

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