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Smart City ethics and privacy statement

General

The City of Casey has undertaken a strategic smart city program to improve the liveability, inclusiveness, and sustainability of the city by using data, innovation, and technology. By capturing a variety of data points and developing insights, Council can better plan and deliver, new infrastructure, council programs, revitalisation of spaces, and decisions relating to the quality of life of the Casey Community.

The long-term community vision at the City of Casey is built on the pillars of driving stronger connections and places, developing platforms for community empowerment, and becoming a future-ready organisation. These 3 strategies along with the Smart Casey Launchpad guide how the City of Casey uses smart technology, how we use the data collected from these systems, and how it drives innovation within our community.

This statement has been put together in the interests of transparency to our community. The goal of the statement is to share our views on smart city projects and how they impact the lives of our community members. This includes aspects such as liveability, privacy, functionality, and the methodologies behind data collection and use.

What constitutes a "Smart City deployment"?

A smart city deployment speaks specifically about actions relating to the deployment of technology to collect data overseen by the Smart City, Innovation, and Improvement team (SCII) within the City of Casey. These projects will be driven by the Smart Casey Launchpad which was developed in line with community consultation and research conducted in 2021. It is important to acknowledge that not all technology deployments in the City of Casey are overseen by the SCII team. The purpose, scope, and governance of an individual piece of equipment will differ based on which branch of the council has requisitioned that technology.

Anonymity

Our position on data and privacy promotes an open and transparent approach to data collection, use, storage, and sharing. Our privacy policy is available for full details on handling personally identifiable information; however, best practice and our first choice for any data collection activity is to practice anonymous data collection.

What is anonymous data collection?

Anonymous data collection is the practice of collecting data that cannot be linked or tied to an individual in the community. Anonymous data collection doesn't retain images, video, audio, biometrics, identifying vehicle details, or any other data type that could reasonably link a person to the sample of data they have contributed to our broader dataset.

Signposting of data collection sites

Where data relating to people occupying public spaces is collected, we will signpost these activities to inform the community. Information about data collection activities will be available through the Casey Conversations page. Casey conversations pages will be linked from signposted material.

Data sharing

Data collected by sensors will be made available through the Casey Open Data Platform or project-specific public dashboards such as Backing Business In Casey. Where data might be considered sensitive, City of Casey will store all data securely per our privacy policy.

Identifiable data

Some smart city projects may require identifiable data to understand the use of an asset or community facility. Where smart city technology is used to collect data that identifies a person or vehicle, signage will be posted to explain the technology and its use. Personally identifiable datasets will be stored and used per our privacy policy and are not made available to the public.

Data collection technology

The City of Casey captures data streams through a wide array of sensors. The types of sensors we use are varied but below are some examples of the technology used and what kind of data it typically collects.

  • Microclimate sensors detect local climate data, including noise, temperature, moisture, and air pressure.
  • Device Counters count the presence of a Wi-Fi-enabled device (e.g., a smartphone) to guestimate patronage near their deployment.
  • 4K Object detection sensors can sense people, vehicles, and objects. They can identify various attributes of the subject matter they're sensing, such as the relative size of an object, use of a mobility aid, presence of a pet, subjects' dwell time at a specific location, and assessing how a person or vehicle navigates a space.
  • Directional sensors detect people moving through a particular threshold.
  • Noise Sensors detect the decibel level at a location in real-time.
  • Occupancy sensors can detect how often a council asset is utilised.
  • Distance sensors (sometimes called bin or pit sensors) help us detect how full a bin or drainage pit might be.

Law enforcement and compliance

The Casey Smart City team can and has consulted on law enforcement, community safety, and compliance matters, including parking compliance, identification of illegal dumping or vandalism, amongst other purposes. 

Where Smart City deployments are being used for compliance purposes, we rely on intelligent image processing technology to only capture activities if a compliance enforcement matter occurs and to only capture the data of the person or vehicle involved in that matter.

Where compliance activities occur, the Smart City program is committed to signposting the type of equipment and explaining its function. We maintain that the presence of the equipment is to improve compliance, not to raise revenue.

Smart City does not use data gathering sites as a form of CCTV to protect the privacy of people who are not of interest in compliance matters. 

Social compliance

We acknowledge a concern within the community, following covid, around the restriction of movement, lockdowns, and social activities such as wearing masks. The City of Casey is committed to not using Smart City technology deployments to restrict the movement of residents or enforce social obligations within the community.

Right to privacy

The City of Casey is committed to protecting your privacy. Our approach to deploying smart city assets, infrastructure, and technology has the community's privacy at the forefront to ensure you enjoy the city and its facilities.

The City of Casey will take all necessary measures to prevent unauthorised access to, or disclosure of, your personal information and strictly follows all laws and policies relating to cyber security and data governance, ensuring best practices are followed. We also review the data collection and storage solutions of the technology companies we partner with to ensure they are held to our rigorous standards.

Wherever data is published about the use of a community asset or space, it will undergo a deidentification process to ensure that no individual who has contributed to that dataset can be identified as a contributor.

Not all data we collect will be suitable for public release. Where this is the case, it will be collected and stored as per our Privacy policy. It may be used for planning and research purposes to improve services to the community and only disclosed to a third party if required or authorised by law.

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