The Safe City Conundrum
Security Advisor Middle East|May 2019
The Safe City Conundrum

As The Smart City Race Reverberates Around The World, Governments Are Increasingly Looking At Implementing The Latest Technologies Including Smart Video Surveillance As A Measure To Ensure Public Safety. How Can Cities Keep The Balance Between Security And Privacy?

A recent study by the United Nations noted that 68 percent of the global population might live in urban areas by 2050. Smart cities will likely be a part of this future, promising to make people’s lives more convenient, more sustainable and more secure.

In this future, experts predict driverless cars, renewable energy powering infrastructures, smart buildings, digitally-enabled public systems and services, and, of course, video monitoring and surveillance.

Today, video surveillance systems like Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) are extensively being deployed in a variety of settings, including public areas, public infrastructures, commercial buildings and even more so as we build up to the smart city vision.

With the help of strategically placed cameras around a smart city, surveillance can be improved significantly. However, the pervasiveness of technologies around is also a cause for concern among citizens in terms of privacy. Top experts weigh in on how cities can strike a balance between security and privacy:

Joseph John, general manager, Norden Communication:

Security is one of the key responsibilities of every city – feeling safe is one of the main rights of any citizen. But as populations increase, governments face ever-evolving challenges that make creating a truly smart and safe city harder. Cities must progress by implementing innovative technologies to handle security issues and deploying smart video monitoring and analytics are among the key solutions they are looking into.

Governments can keep the balance by implementing standardised safety and privacy protocols for its citizens. They need to uphold the people’s rights to privacy by devising policies that clearly state the parameters of surveillance and communicating this properly to the public.

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May 2019