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Published: August 11, 2023

Police Investigations in Smart Cities: Personal Information and Policy Implications

Étienne F Lacombe

Abstract: Smart cities have the potential to disrupt the relationship between privacy and policing by providing police officers with new sources of personal information. This article challenges recent literature that suggests this risk should be mitigated through judicial oversight. Viewed holistically, the varying severity of privacy intrusions in smart cities, the technical workings of information collection and processing, and fading logistical limits on public surveillance make reliance on judicial oversight untenable. Instead, this article suggests ways of reshaping extrajudicial safeguards to prevent arbitrary or abusive interference with privacy in the context of smart cities. Building on examples from England and Wales, the author draws on a version of privacy protection that often escapes North American commentators. Ultimately, the author calls on provincial legislatures to
develop statutory parameters for the exercise of police discretion that are tailored to various smart city technologies and suggests how oversight should be embedded within policing bodies, both at the structural and individual decision-making level.

Cite as: (2023) 1:1 TMU L Rev 65.

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