Cape Town as a Smart and Safe City: Implications for Governance and Data Privacy

Nora Ni Loideain at the Journal of International Data Privacy Law: “Promises abound that ‘smart city’ technologies could play a major role in developing safer, more sustainable, and equitable cities, creating paragons of democracy. However, there are concerns that governance led by ‘Big Data’ processes marks the beginning of a trend of encroachment on the individual’s liberty and privacy, even if such technologies are employed legitimately for the public’s safety and security. There are many ways in which personal data processing for law enforcement and public safety purposes may pose a threat to the privacy and data protection rights of individuals. Furthermore, the risk of such powers being misused is increased by the covert nature of the processing, and the ever-increasing capacity, and pervasiveness, of the retention, sharing, and monitoring of personal data by public authorities and business. The focus of this article concerns the use of these smart city technologies for the purposes of countering crime and ensuring public safety. Specifically, this research examines these policy-making developments, and the key initiatives to date, undertaken by the municipal authorities within the city of Cape Town. Subsequently, the examination then explores the implications of these policies and initiatives for governance, and compliance with the right to data privacy, as guaranteed under international human rights law, the Constitution of South Africa, and the national statutory framework governing data protection. In conclusion, the discussion provides reflections on the findings from this analysis, including some policy recommendations….(More)”.