Saturday, April 18, 2015

New GE "data collecting" streetlights for Florida.

Here's the announcement, from Infowars.

In accordance with the "GE Intelligent City Initiate," the "data-collecting" LED streetlights will be placed throughout the city's downtown and surrounding areas.

According to a Thursday morning presentation by GE, the lights will be "interconnected with one another and will collect real-time data," as reported by the Jacksonville Business Journal.

"GE's intelligent LEDs are a gateway to city-changing technology, with sensors, controls, wireless transmitters and microprocessors built within the LED system," GE states.

Now, the linked Jacksonville Business Journal article talks about the "GE Intelligent City Initiative", but it doesn't say what it is. Just that it collects and shares "data" collected by "street lights".

Well, as we all know a street light does not have any data worth sharing. Its only data is if it is turned on or not. Well, unless you are actually talking about a full-on networked PC with camera and microphone and maybe some other infra-red sensors too, maybe a magnetometer, maybe radar, maybe a laser... with a light attached to it.

One of the more relevant, ready-to-go applications is the ability to have smart parking. Through the streetlight sensors, residents can be notified when parking spots are available, or even if their meter might be running out.

What sensors does a "streetlight" need to tell if a parking spot is open or occupied? Camera, obviously. Cheapy little webcam camera you can buy wholesale for $5 would do it. It would do that by taking a picture of all the parking spaces every few seconds. And storing the pictures in its memory. Millions of pictures of all the cars that parked in those spots, the storage of which is trivial.  They can be archived virtually forever, available to any casual search.

The "streetlight" also be able to read and record LICENSE PLATES, which when combined with government license records opens all sorts of possibilities for local law enforcement to track people, collect fines, all kinds of stuff.

As well, the "streetlight" will "incidentally" as part of its parking space job take a picture of every single person who walks by it.

Now multiply that by every f-ing streetlight in the city, because remember that this is General Electric we're talking about here. They have the resources to engineer a web-enabled LED "streetlight" that can do all the stuff I said, and a lot more I haven't even thought of yet, and make the whole freakin' package available for the same price as a regular sodium vapor lamp.

Call your local city council and let them know this would be a really, REALLY bad idea.

The Phantom

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