11th December 2019 – (Hong Kong) The Multi-functional Smart Lampposts Technical Advisory Ad Hoc Committee held its fifth meeting yesterday. Members reached a consensus at the meeting that while the Government should continue with the smart lamppost project for smart city development in Hong Kong, cameras on the smart lampposts should be replaced by other technology solutions.
The Government Chief Information Officer, Mr Victor Lam, who is also the Convenor of the Committee, said, “Five meetings were held in the past few months to review in detail the functions and technologies employed in smart lampposts as well as to make recommendations in response to public concerns over privacy. The Committee unanimously agreed that replacement technology solutions for cameras, such as LIDAR and thermal detectors, should be adopted to enlist wider community support for smart lampposts as well as smart city development.”
The Committee agreed that the Government should continue with the smart lamppost project after taking out cameras, especially given the rollout of the fifth generation mobile service in near future.
“To avoid lagging behind, Hong Kong must catch up at full steam in smart city development. We will also continue to open up city data collected by smart lampposts to drive smart city development,” Mr Lam added.
The original design of smart lampposts included panoramic cameras which aim to collect real-time traffic data and traffic snapshot images, and surveillance cameras which aim to monitor traffic conditions and tackle illegal dumping of construction waste.
The Committee proposed that each and every new smart device to be installed on smart lampposts in future should go through a third-party review and assessment to ensure compliance with international privacy and security standards (ISO 27000 series). The Committee also suggested that the Government enhance public education and promotion on smart lampposts. As always, the Government will only commence installation of new devices after consulting relevant stakeholders, including the Legislative Council and concerned District Councils.
Members also received briefings by officers of the Environmental Protection Department, the Lands Department and the Transport Department on replacement technology solutions to individual applications on smart lampposts and related privacy protection measures in the light of members’ suggestions.
Consensus reached by the Committee today will be included in the Committee report. The discussion papers for the Committee will be uploaded onto the Multi-functional Smart Lampposts thematic webpage: www.ogcio.gov.hk/en/our_work/strategies/initiatives/smart_lampposts/. It is expected that the Committee will submit a detailed report to the Government in February 2020.