Long Beach Hosting ‘Data Walks’ to Increase Transparency and Public Awareness for City’s Data Collection Practices
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Long Beach, CA – In an ongoing effort to enhance data privacy, digital rights and transparency, the City of Long Beach Department of Technology and Innovation, in partnership with California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), is launching a series of mobile community workshops for residents to learn about the technologies the City deploys and how it uses the data it collects.

The walks coincide with the City's upcoming implementation of a new data privacy and digital rights platform, launching this spring. These efforts are part of the Long Beach Smart City Initiative, which aims to advance solutions to civic challenges by engaging the community, staff, and private sector to explore and implement emerging technology.

"The City of Long Beach is always committed to building a clear and transparent relationship with its residents," said Mayor Rex Richardson. "The enhanced Digital Rights Platform is an innovative tool that will help expand our residents' digital rights and educate them about the City's data privacy practices."

Digital rights, closely linked to freedom of expression and privacy, allow people to access, use, create and publish digital media, and access and use computers, other electronic devices and communications networks. The City is committed to educating its residents about their digital rights, and the upcoming data walks and enhanced digital rights platform are two ways of accomplishing this.

By participating in the data walks, Long Beach residents can test the improved digital rights platform before it officially launches and share their feedback on the new site, its accompanying education materials, and their overall perceptions of the City's data privacy practices. Participants will meet at one of the City libraries listed below, engage in a 1.5-mile walk through a Long Beach neighborhood, and interact with "smart" city technologies like security cameras, payment kiosks and mobile apps to test data privacy notices that inform residents about which data the City collects and how it is used to improve City services. City staff and CSULB researchers will guide groups of 15-25 volunteers during the walk and host a focus group discussion to gather feedback on residents' perceptions and comfortability with the technologies interacted with on the data walk. Volunteers will earn a $25 Target gift card in exchange for about two hours of their time.

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To participate in the data walks, residents can sign up online. Additional information will be shared with participants upon registration, and residents can request language interpretation services for the walks in the registration form.

Data walks will be conducted on the following days.

Billie Jean King Library:
  • Saturday, March 2, 1:30 p.m.
  • Friday, March 8, 11 a.m.
  • Saturday, March 9, 11 a.m.

Michelle Obama Library:
  • Saturday, March 2, 11 a.m.
  • Monday, March 4, 1 p.m.
  • Monday, March 4, 4 p.m.

Mark Twain Library:
  • Wednesday, March 6, 1 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 6, 3 p.m.
  • Friday, March 8, 2 p.m.

"I am proud of our community-centered approach, emphasis on transparency, and creative efforts in developing an improved version of the Digital Rights Platform," said Chief Information Officer and Technology and Innovation Department Director Lea Eriksen. "I am looking forward to promoting this valuable tool to the Long Beach community via our upcoming data walks."

City efforts to increase transparency and trust among residents dates back to March 2021 when the Long Beach City Council voted to approve the Long Beach Data Privacy Guidelines, which provide a framework to help the City and its partners include privacy protections in City technology and services in Long Beach. After working with the Technology & Innovation Commission, TID developed an Implementation Plan to operationalize the guidelines through City policies, educational campaigns, procedures and tools.

These strategic measures led to the development of an initial version of the Digital Rights Platform, which included a webpage and signage designed to improve the usability, accessibility and visibility of smart city technologies.

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The enhanced Digital Rights Platform, launching this spring, will include a significantly redesigned webpage with information and educational materials of smart city technologies and the City's data collection practices. The platform establishes a more robust and responsive channel for community input, fostering a dynamic dialog between technology and Long Beach community members. To coincide with the launch, physical signage, available in English, Spanish, and Khmer, will also be displayed in the public right-of-way adjacent to select City technologies and will include QR codes to direct viewers to the new platform. Additional details will be provided once the platform launches.

The City looks forward to working alongside residents to continue efforts in informing the public about data privacy, increasing data transparency, and fostering meaningful dialogue on emerging civic technologies.

More information about the Smart City Initiative, including guiding principles, pilot programs, and exciting new projects, is available on the Smart City Initiative webpage. If you would like to stay informed about the progress of our Data Privacy Policy, Digital Rights Platform, or Smart City Initiatives, Sign up for our Newsletter.

About the City of Long Beach
Long Beach is nestled along the Southern California coast and home to approximately 466,000people. As an award-winning full-service charter city, Long Beach offers the amenities of a metropolitan city while maintaining a strong sense of individual and diverse neighborhoods, culture, and community. With a bustling downtown and over six miles of scenic beaches, Long Beach is a renowned tourist and business destination and home to the iconic Queen Mary, nationally recognized Aquarium of the Pacific and Long Beach Airport, award-winning Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center and world-class Port of Long Beach.

For more information about the City of Long Beach, visit longbeach.gov/. Follow us on social to keep up with the latest news: Facebook, X, Instagram and YouTube. To learn more about Technology and Innovation, visit: longbeach.gov/ti.

Filed Under: Government, City

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