In San Diego, ‘Smart' Streetlights Spark Surveillance Reform

A smart-streetlight program has helped businesses and residents by collecting a wealth of data to make parking easier, monitor air quality, and inform drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists of traffic patterns. But its use by the police to collect evidence of suspected crimes has prompted a privacy backlash. Police officials say the videos have been used only in serious crimes and have both incriminated and exonerated suspects. Critics say mission creep has led to improper surveillance of protests and racially disparate enforcement in minor crimes. City legislators are considering ways to regulate the practice.

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