The Future of Privacy Forum released a new tool for municipal and technology leaders: a visual guide “Shedding Light on Smart City Privacy.” This tool will help citizens, companies, and communities understand the technologies at the heart of smart city and smart community projects – and their potential impact on privacy. It also connects stakeholders with guidance documents, best practices, and other resources designed to help them implement new technologies in privacy-protective ways. The guide highlights the wide range of connected technologies and services appearing throughout our communities – everything from streetlights that measure air and noise pollution to smart electric grids to buses that re-route based on demand. The visual guide also provides important context to these new technologies and services, allowing visitors to sort technologies and services based on what sectors they might serve, what other technologies enable them, and who within their communities might use or deliver them.
Most importantly, it also describes some of the top privacy concerns raised by smart city technologies and services, both for individuals and for communities. It describes key tools for mitigating those risks, including robust privacy programs, transparency and consent, de-identification, vendor management, and data minimization.
Finally, the tool also acts as a central repository for privacy-related guidance documents, best practices, reports, codes of conduct, and other resources that can help local policymakers, technologists, and citizens navigate these complex issues and integrate digital services in privacy-protective ways.