Smart lamppost functions explained

July 16, 2019

The three-year Multi-functional Smart Lampposts pilot scheme is being implemented in phases in four districts with higher pedestrian and traffic flow as part of the Government’s drive to foster smart city development in Hong Kong.


Under the scheme some 400 smart lampposts will be installed in Central/Admiralty, Causeway Bay/Wan Chai, Tsim Sha Tsui and Kwun Tong/Kai Tak Development Area, with 50 put in place in Kowloon Bay, Kai Tak and Kwun Tong since the end of June.


Briefing the media today on the technologies applied in smart lampposts, the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer said the smart devices collect meteorological data, air quality data and traffic flow.


The data will be released to the public via for development of innovative applications, it added. 


To protect privacy, cameras are set to face and take pictures of public areas only, while the lampposts do not carry any facial recognition function and the images taken will not be sent to third party for facial recognition applications.


Some of the lampposts’ functions will not be activated at this stage, including the Environmental Protection Department’s monitoring of illegal dumping with the aid of cameras located near black spots, and the Transport Department’s assessment of road use by different types of vehicles enabled by Bluetooth traffic detectors and cameras collecting car plate numbers.


Assistant Government Chief Information Officer Tony Wong said: "We understand that recently there is public concern about using the smart lamppost and the smart device that will have some potential invasion of personal privacy or collecting personal information, so that is why we have decided to put on hold three such applications and also we will conduct a wider public consultation in order to explain to the public."

The scheme also makes provision for mobile network operators to install 5G base stations and to offer free Wi-Fi services.

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