Safe then Smart: Roles, Responsibilities & Privacy in Safe Cities

ByPeter Goulding

September 30, 2019

Peter Goulding

In part three of this blog series, I look at privacy concerns and the role of governments, citizens, and technology providers in building a safe city ecosystem. Click the links to read part 1 Safe then Smart: The Roadmap to Smart Cities and part 2 Safe then Smart: The Stages & Drivers of Safe Cities

Privacy Concerns for Safe Cities Are Important

To address concerns about privacy, best practice has shown that when governments and municipalities are open and transparent about the nature of intrusion, such as capturing and storing data or video on citizens as they go about their daily lives, most citizens are:

  • Satisfied to know that first the data has been collected and securely stored only for legitimate reasons related to making their city safer
  • There is a clear policy on how long that data will be kept or whether it can be shared before it is deleted in accordance with the very strict national and local laws. Huawei understands these legitimate concerns and is ready to support customers in addressing these issues.

Read more: Global Digital Governance in Huawei’s GIV@2025

The Role of Governments and Municipalities

Your corporate plans no doubt demonstrate the ambition and commitment to provide quality services for residents, businesses, and visitors. It’s our assumption that you wish to create cities where:

  • Residents are at the heart of what the government and municipality does
  • People live in good homes in pleasant safe neighbourhoods
  • Businesses flourish and local people enjoy high-quality local jobs
  • Children reach their potential
  • People are safe
  • Residents are healthy, active and socially connected
  • Residents receive the right help and support

This cannot be achieved without working together focusing on local goals. There are consistent published goals seen across the world:

For example governments and municipalities will

Spend wisely
Make more services accessible
Help regenerate cities
Support local neighbourhoods
Provide help and support to citizens
Champion the city as a great place to live, work, visit, and invest

The Role of Citizens

Citizens are critical to a safe city project. While they may not directly affect decision making around the technologies or operational processes, their engagement with the local government and emergency services is crucial for the success of safe city projects. Allowing citizen’s to share information means they will be more engaged in the project and feel a civic duty for reporting crime or providing crowdsourced evidence.

All citizens have a role to work together with the government and municipality:

For example Citizens will

Take an interest in where they live
Tell the municipality if things could be better
Support local businesses
Go online where possible
Do what they can to keep themselves healthy
Look out for each other

The Role of Technology Providers

Huawei has already played a major role in starting to build safe cities across the world and is ready to stand with government and municipalities as they develop and improve services for citizens and communities. We will continue to use local contractors and local partners, providing job opportunities and the transference of critical technical skills, and enhancing local workforce capabilities.

We aim to have a deep understanding of what safe city projects are trying to accomplish of methods to achieve key performance improvements.

Huawei is ready to deliver successful, effective safe city projects in your city to enhance your reputation as leaders to improve the quality of life of your citizens.

In part 4 of this series, I will look at quantifying the benefits of smart cities.

Click the link for more information about Huawei’s Smart City solutions.

Disclaimer: Any views and/or opinions expressed in this post by individual authors or contributors are their personal views and/or opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views and/or opinions of Huawei Technologies.

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Peter Goulding

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