As the government unveils its latest smart initiative to promote Kong Kong as one of the world’s smart cities, details on the smart lamp posts have piqued the curiosity of both residents as well as visitors following rumours that the new project poses some threat to data privacy.
However, after the government has clarified the purpose and features of the new smart facility, residents are now aware that these facilities offer benefits such as monitoring crime, traffic, and pollution levels in the city – which will provide data for the government to deal with these issues both in the short- and long-term.
Details on HK’s New Smart Lamp Post Initiative Released
In an update issued on Friday (July 19), the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) released a list of the locations, functions and equipment of the 50 smart lamp posts that have been installed, as shared in a report by news.gov.hk.
The smart facilities can be located along Sheung Yuet Road in Kowloon Bay, Shing Kai Road in Kai Tak and in the Kwun Tong city centre.
As per authorities, releasing the list will enable the public to gain insight and better understanding of the functions and applications of the lamp posts. Furthermore, information on their locations and activated functions will also be uploaded to the data.gov.hk public portal starting next week.
Also, information concerning any future installation of smart lamp posts will also be released to the public with the same level of transparency.
Earlier, concerns regarding the features of the new smart lamp posts were aired by the public.
To this, the government quickly explained that the new facilities will not employ technology used to count the number of people at a given location and do not carry any facial recognition function.
The technology which had been used to count the amount of people at a specific location, was showcased at the Smart Government Pavilion at the International ICT Expo in April but is not related or adopted by the Multi-functional Smart Lamp Posts pilot scheme, which was only launched this month.
Similarly, there is a growing sense of mistrust from the public as concerns were also raised as to the security and features of the new smart ID card which is currently undergoing replacement in staggered phases for all residents in the country, including foreign domestic workers.
The public unrest and brewing mistrust on the government can be attributed to the proposal of a new law sanctioning extradition cases to be trialed in the defendant’s country of origin, but which has already been scrapped by Chief Executive Carrie Lam following massive demonstrations supported by millions of protesters that were held earlier this month.