Data Privacy

Sensors and cameras aren’t new in Long Beach. When you wait at a red light in many of the City’s intersections, a sensor beneath your car is communicating to the signal that you’d like to get through. And cameras help keep you safe as you’re paying a utility bill at City Hall. However we understand that smart city technologies, if not regulated, have the potential to infringe upon residents’ personal privacy. In our community survey, we heard that although residents believe smart tools are essential, they are “strongly concerned” that this could mean less personal privacy.

Our number one priority is keeping your personally identifiable information (PII) safe. On March 9, 2021, the Long Beach City Council voted to approve the Long Beach Data Privacy Guidelines. They are intended to provide a framework to help the City and partners incorporate privacy by design as we deploy new technologies and new services in Long Beach.

+Read the full Data Privacy Guidelines

Implementation Plan

In 2021, we worked with the Technology & Innovation Commission to develop an Implementation Plan to operationalize the Guidelines through City policies, educational campaigns, procedures, and tools.

Informed by best practices from peer cities, the Implementation Plan provides 13 tangible recommendations on how to build public trust through excellence in data privacy, data security, and community engagement. To help understand the impact and feasibility of the proposed actions, each has been evaluation for its community and internal impact, as well as its cost-effectiveness and ease of implementation.

Key Terms

  • Data privacy: The practices taken to govern the collection, protection, and sharing of personal and confidential information.
  • Smart city: A city that uses emerging technology and data to manage complex city operations, efficiently deliver services, and improve the quality of life.
  • Equity: When everyone can achieve their highest quality of life no matter their background. Often used in the context of race.
  • Personally identifiable information (PII): Data that can be used to distinguish or trace an individual’s identity, either alone or when combined with other personal data.
  • Algorithm: A process or set of rules that a computer needs to do to complete a task.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI): Machines that have the ability to “learn” and “problem solve.”
  • Data stewardship: The management and oversight of data to help provide individuals with high-quality data that is easily accessible in a consistent manner.
  • Data governance: A systemic and multi-dimensional approach to setting policies and regulations for securing, managing, analyzing, storing, sharing and accessing data through institutional coordination.
  • Cybersecurity: The practice of protecting computer systems from unauthorized access or attacks.
  • Digitization: The process of transforming in-person services into digital services through the creation of online forms, interactive platforms, and open data websites.

For Vendors

If you want to parner with us, consider what data you’re collecting; how you’re scrubbing it of PII before transmitting it; where and how you’re storing the rest of it; what you’re doing to protect people’s privacy; and how you ensure AI and algorithms don't have unintended consequences. 

We require all cloud service providers to complete our Vendor Information Security Assessment form, which reflects our Data Privacy Guidelines.

2023 Annual Report: Check It Out!

Wondering what our Smart City Initiative program is up to? Wait no further and read our Smart City 2023 Annual Report and our multi-lingual, accessible community briefs!

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