Unblinking eyes watching you and Smart City Policies…

the unblinking eye. I am a huge Lord of the Rings fan. I started reading the books in 1972 and have been hooked ever since. I do however have one small concern. As smart cities evolve there are going to be thousands of unblinking eyes watching you. Personal privacy is going to take a huge hit in the short run of CPS and Smart Cities.

I know that it is a rut and I have talked about it many times but the concept of personal privacy extends beyond the PII or personally identifiable information. The ultimate PII is your image. I counted security cameras on the way home from work yesterday. Just to see how many I would see in the 31 miles (and nearly 2 hours) it takes me to get home. Using my favorite traffic program (Inrix – I’ve played with Waze but I love Inrix) there were 12 cameras on the highway I was on. There were several around the building where I work and the strip mall next to it.

They never blink. My daughters car was broken into in front of the house. Dylan barked in the middle of the night but I couldn’t see anything so we added unblinking security cameras. They are everywhere and you image is on them. From traffic lights to just walking along the street in front of an ATM your image is captured.

It is a good thing and a bad thing. The good news is eventually as I said yesterday in my post on Smart Cities, The concept of a CPS marketplace within the broader concept of a City Broker will emerge. In the CPS marketplace a new business can evaluate the existing camera options for external security. Reducing the number of cameras they have to buy. And only using those cameras form the marketplace when they need them. It creates the physical security on demand concept that CPS brokers will offer. The City Cloud Broker will also manage a CPS broker offering as well.

They say the camera adds ten pounds, how many pounds do the 38 cameras between my work and my house add? 380 pounds? or just 10 pounds 38 times?

As smart cities evolve your image is going to be captured more than 38 times in a day. So for those arguing and debating the policies of Smart Cities I have an argument for you to consider a policy for.

“If I commit no crime. Who owns my image?” I accept that if I speed, or don’t come to a full stop at a stop light the city, county, state or federal highway can send me a ticket. I accept that my image if captured in the commission of that illegal act is not mine. The authority issuing the ticket is entitled to my image because I broke the law. The same is true for the commission of felonies and misdemeanors. If you break the existing statues then your image isn’t yours for the moment of the crime.

When I don’t commit a crime is it still my image? I believe it is. I bleieve in the best sense of personal privacy those images should be deleted from the CPS device. I would say that the images could exist from the smart device to a storage system but that system should be purged within 144 hours or seven days. My image should not stay in view of the unblinking eye forever.

The fun thing about Smart Cities is going to be the amazing services they will offer from the City Broker Service Catalog. The reality is though there are many policies we will need to place to protect the many types of personal information that are floating around.


Smart City Dreamer