PRESS RELEASE

City of Long Beach 
Public Information Office
411 W. Ocean Blvd, 
Long Beach, CA 90802

6/4/2024
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # 060424-2
Subject:
Long Beach Launches Improved Digital Rights Platform to Enhance Data Privacy and Digital Rights for Residents
Contact:
Lea Eriksen
562.570.6234
Lea.Eriksen@longbeach.gov
Director
Technology and Innovation Department




Female data walk participant reading a blue sign with white writing about digital rights at entrance to public parking structure.

Long Beach, CA – The City of Long Beach recently launched a new data privacy and digital rights platform as part of its ongoing effort to enhance data privacy, digital rights and transparency. The City’s Department of Technology and Innovation partnered with California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) to launch the enhanced platform earlier this year, which then underwent pilot testing with community members who participated in community data walks that were held in March. The enhanced digital rights platform, available at longbeach.gov/digitalrights, and accompanying educational signage available at locations throughout the city help further the City's efforts to educate its residents about their digital rights.

"The City of Long Beach is at the forefront when it comes to harnessing technology for the betterment of residents' lives," said Mayor Rex Richardson. "The enhanced Digital Rights Platform is a creative tool that illustrates the City's priorities to respect residents' data privacy and digital rights and avoid discriminatory impacts."

Digital rights, as defined by the Cities Coalition for Digital Rights, include universal and equal access to the Internet, digital skills to access the Internet, privacy, data protection, and security, access to transparent systems, accountability and non-discrimination of data, representation on the Internet, and diversity and inclusion in addition to, everyone having the right to use the technologies of their choice.   

The enhanced digital rights platform showcases a redesigned webpage with information about the City's data collection and usage practices for smart city technologies such as public wi-fi, security cameras, the Go Long Beach application, and public computers and printing stations at Long Beach Public Libraries. The City has 20 civic technologies listed on the platform and will add new technologies as they are acquired and inventoried. In addition to providing transparent educational resources about smart city technologies, the platform establishes a feedback channel for community input, fostering a dynamic dialog between the City and Long Beach community members on the role of technology in municipal operations. To coincide with the launch, physical signage available in English, Spanish and Khmer was also installed in the public right-of-way adjacent to select City technologies in Downtown, Central and North Long Beach and includes QR codes to direct viewers to the new platform. 

During the pilot testing period, City staff and CSULB researchers led data walks that allowed Long Beach residents to walk a 1.5-mile walk through a neighborhood and interact with "smart" city technologies. Participants tested the features of the improved digital rights platform and learned about the data the City collects and how it uses it to improve City services. Groups of 15-20 volunteers shared their feedback, perceptions and comfort with the technologies they interacted with during their walk.

"I am excited to share that over 80 participants attended our recent community data walks promoting the new Digital Rights Platform," said Chief Information Officer and Technology and Innovation Department Director Lea Eriksen. "The recent walks provided a dynamic learning environment that allowed City staff to engage Long Beach residents in transparent conversations around city-deployed technologies and their impact on residents' lives."

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.

Residents are encouraged to visit the redesigned webpage at longbeach.gov/digitalrights to learn more about the enhanced Digital Rights Platform and the technologies the City deploys.  

The City looks forward to collaborating with residents to continue efforts in informing the public about data privacy, increasing data transparency, and fostering clear and transparent 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 466,000 people. 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: FacebookXInstagram and YouTube. To learn more about Technology and Innovation, visit longbeach.gov/ti.