Hong Kong lampposts to collect data on air quality, traffic
Hong Kong unveils plan to install 400 multifunctional lamp posts as part of smart city drive
- Smart lamp posts will be equipped with sensors, cameras and data networks, among other facilities, to harness data for analysis and public use
- Government stresses it has no plans to collect facial or personal data and lamp posts facing residential buildings will not have cameras
Equipped with sensors, closed-circuit cameras, data networks and other related digital facilities, the smart lamp posts could be used to collect air quality, traffic flow and weather data. The data would also be available to the public, government departments and various industries for analysis.
Traffic cameras installed in some lamp posts could help monitor and collect real-time information on congestion and accidents. Air-quality sensors could also help collect data on the concentration of pollutants, which would be sent to the Environmental Protection Department for analysis.
“Smart lamp posts can help our department implement a lot of smart applications to enhance city and traffic management,” said Tony Wong Chi-kwong, assistant government chief information officer.
Wong stressed the smart lamp posts would not cause privacy breaches for citizens. Some functions of the lamps have been withheld until wide public consultations are conducted. Approval from district councils would also be required before these functions could be implemented.
Smart lamp posts facing residential areas would not have video cameras installed to protect the privacy of citizens.
“We understand there are areas of public concern about using smart lamp posts that will have potential for invasion of privacy or collecting personal information. We do not have any plans and will not have any plans to collect facial or individual data,” Wong said.
The first 50 smart lamp posts have been implemented since the end of June around several districts with higher pedestrian and traffic flow, including Kowloon Bay, Shing Kai Road in Kai Tak and Kwun Tong.
More smart lamp posts will be installed in phases in other neighbourhoods such as Central, Admiralty, Causeway Bay, Wan Chai and Tsim Sha Tsui.