3,200 street lights will be equipped with surveillance microphones, cameras, and sensors this year in San Diego, by General Electric’s Current division working with Intel Corp and AT&T Inc.

It is the “first large-scale use of “smart city” tools GE says can help monitor traffic and pinpoint crime, but raising potential privacy concerns,” according to Reuters.

The microphones will locate gunshots, surveil vehicle speeds, estimate crowd sizes, and who knows what else.

Since San Diego is a major border city, could this move have anything to do with the increasingly strict immigration policy in the US?

An article from Reuters says:

“Companies expect a growing market for such systems as cities seek better data to plan and run their operations. San Diego is a test of “internet of things” technology that GE Current provides for commercial buildings and industrial sites.”

Those in favor of it ignore the Orwellian myriad of negative possibilities, instead choosing to focus on how it will “provide the data to entrepreneurs and students to develop applications.”

This follows a template used to justify invasive or dangerous technology: the formula is, claim it will create jobs and innovation. That’s how these things are justified.

The article continues:

“GE hopes cities will make the data available to businesses. Current’s data and open software platform should allow programmers to develop applications, said John Gordon, chief digital officer at GE Current: ‘Everything from traffic and parking problems to finding the quietest way to walk home and have a cell phone conversation.'”

So San Diego is a testing ground for data harvesting.

General Electric, the massive corporation that has been involved with the military industrial complex for over half a century, is hoping to harvest as much data as possible from people to open a market that will capitalize on it in every way imaginable.

Can anyone think of a legitimate way this will benefit the actual people of San Diego?

Image credit: VS, pictures4ever