Smart city tech is 'invasive' - campaigners

02 July 2019

A typical road in Peterborough

A typical road in Peterborough

Privacy campaigners have voiced concerns for residents affected by smart city trials in the city of Peterborough, where technology has been deployed to monitor the environment.

Some of these sensors are used to monitor humidity and condensation in buildings, while environmental sensors addressed wasted heat in communal areas. However, there are also noise sensors which detect unauthorised activity in vacant properties.

These sensors have caught the attention of privacy campaigner Big Brother Watch, which said the trials have turned Peterborough's housing estates into "surveillance zones".

"Many residents will feel deeply uncomfortable living surrounded by 'noise sensors' and 'parking sensors'," the group said. "They're being treated like lab rats in a surveillance experiment. The council ought to review this decision urgently." 

CityFibre has invested £30m in extending the network to almost every home and business in the city.