Demonstrators demolished the wisdom lamp post in Kowloon Bay

On August 24, a demonstration took place in Kwun Tong, Hong Kong. One of the themes of the parade was concerns about the possible privacy violations of the intelligent lampposts in the area. In the afternoon, a group of demonstrators gathered outside the Kowloon Bay Business Square, dismantled one of the smart lamp posts with electric saws and other tools, pushed it to the ground and destroyed parts with guns. In Changyue Road, a large number of demonstrators surrounded other smart lamp posts. They opened umbrellas to hide the police’s sight, destroyed lamp posts with tools and dismantled parts.
On 23 August, in response to doubts that the smart lamp post installed in Kwun Tong would become a monitoring tool, the Hong Kong police had stressed at a press conference that the smart lamp post had no face recognition function and could not read or detect identity card data. Destroying or damaging property and arson can be punished by life imprisonment. If there are acts of destroying lamp posts, the police will investigate them thoroughly and investigate them to the end. Yang Weixiong, Director of the Bureau of Innovation and Science and Technology of the SAR Government, also said at an inter-departmental press conference on the 23rd that over the past month, there have been many false rumors about the lamppost of wisdom. Intelligent lamp post has no facial recognition function, can not read identity card information, will not infringe personal privacy.
Since this year, the HKSAR Government has launched a pilot project of “Multi-functional Smart Lamp Post”, with 52 Smart Lamp Post installed in Kwun Tong, Kowloon Bay and Kai Tak. There is a “doughnut” like component in the middle of the smart lamp post, which can be used to install sensors of the Transport Department, the Environmental Protection Department and so on. At the lower level of the lamp post, there is also a space for computers, which integrates the functions of positioning, collecting urban data, Wi-Fi and 5G base stations to help the government strengthen urban management and provide public services. The expenditure budget of the pilot project is 272 million yuan. The goal is to set up 400 intelligent lamp posts. However, some Hong Kong residents questioned the move, believing that the lamppost might violate privacy.

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