Control use of data to protect privacy

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Science  30 Jan 2015:
Vol. 347, Issue 6221, pp. 504-506
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa4961

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  • Will every streetlight have network cameras in the near future?
    • YUSAKU FUJII, Professor, Gunma University
    • Other Contributors:
      • Noriaki Yoshiura, Associate Professor, Saitama University

    Y. Fujii1*, N. Yoshiura2
    1Gunma University, 1-5-1 Tenjin-cho, Kiryu, Gunma 376-8515, Japan
    2Saitama University, 255 Shimo-Ookubo, Sakura, Saitama 338-8570, Japan
    *Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-Mail:;
    Tel.: +81-277-30-1756, Fax: +81-277-30-1757.

    The proposition that every streetlight will have network cameras in the near future is discussed. First, the technology for realizing it at low cost is available at this moment. Second, the possible positive effect of crime prevention because of reliable and continuous tracking of criminals is significant. However, the possible negative effect of violating the privacy of general citizens is also significant. A technological and social system for protecting the privacy of general citizens is necessary to ensure that this proposition is accepted by society.

    As for the technology for realizing streetlights with network cameras, it can be realized by simply combining an LED streetlight and a low-cost smartphone. The cost of the Internet connection can be expected to be much lower as the Internet of Things (IoT) spreads [1]. The installation cost can be ignored for local governments if they wait until the time of the scheduled periodical replacement of the streetlights. Captured images should be stored in each streetlight rather than in the host computer or the cloud, because most of the images will be...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.

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