The street lights are watching you
Every move you make every breath you take; the lights are watching you. In Germany, street lights are being equipped with sensors that read and interpret reality. So-called smart-streets can monitor all your movements in public spaces. Documentary maker Nora Bauer
Street lights with sensors are a more subtle surveillance device than cameras. The right to use video surveillance is legally restricted, and labor intensive. Street lights ooutfitted with special chips, sensors and connected to wireless network is more cost-effective, and can gather a lot more information, even license-plates. Authorities can keep track of what kind of movement is going on, the behavior of cars, as well as the movement of people in an out of the area.
It began as a means to save energy by automatically turning lights on and off, and was developed with practical services that can tell you where there is an available parking spot. But has obviously become a setup of public surveillance.
The German radio journalist Nora Bauer unveiled in a radio documentary that several of the street lights in Cologne could in fact be used in surveillance of public areas. At the ViSmedia conference Bauer held a presentation about the ethical issues about using street light to monitor streets and gather data.
Read Bauer`s presentation here
The street light manufacturer Philips have developed several «smart streets» in cities around the world. In the video below you can watch how the technology works in the city of Los Angeles.