Scenic San Diego Letter in Opposition: IKE Collects and Shares/Sells Kiosk Users’ Personal Information
Additional information in your agenda packet continues to leave unanswered, and intentionally obfuscate, important reasons you should reject this drastic departure from years of national leadership in limiting outdoor advertising sign proliferation in our beautiful city of San Diego.
IKE Collects and Shares/Sells Kiosk Users’ Personal Information with “Third Party Partners”
Scenic San Diego has entered into the record for this meeting images from IKE’s digital ad kiosks in Berkeley, CA. These screen shots of IKE’s many disclosures and disclaimers about its data gathering technology establish that IKE Kiosks capture user information and transfer it to its Third Party Partners.
Neither Mayor Todd Gloria’s July 7, 2023 Memo to the Honorable Council President Pro-Tern Monica Montgomery Steppe, nor the IKE Final Agreement Revised June 28, 2023, preclude the data gathering and transfer disclosed on IKE’s kiosks in Berkeley. Your agenda documents state the IKE agreement does not violate the TRUST ordinance. This promises nothing regarding IKE’s business practice of gathering users’ personal information and sharing it with and selling it to Third Party Partners, as it admits it does in Berkeley.
Scenic America Action Alert: Second of Three Votes on San Diego Digital Ad Kiosks Scheduled for Monday, July 17
The City Council will be meeting on Monday, July 17 to vote on the proposed partnership between the City of San Diego and IKE Smart Cities to bring visual pollution in the form of "digital wayfinding kiosks" to city sidewalks. This is the second of three votes on this proposal.
Your attendance and participation in this process is vital to make any attempt to defeat this measure. Prior meetings have shown little opposition to these digital ad kiosks, which require an exemption of San Diego law in order to allow digital signs in the right of way as well as off-premises advertising. There is a reason these signs require a change of the law, and through our collective action, we can show the City Council how unpopular this proposal actually is. Please consider the following measures to help us voice our opposition to this proposal:
Scenic San Diego
Download this Action Alert as a pdf.
Pam Wilson, leader of a group called Scenic San Diego that opposes outdoor advertising, said the council was making a huge mistake that could be the undoing of city sign regulations that are the envy of other large cities across the nation. She said making an exception for the kiosks opens San Diego up to digital billboards and other intense advertising that is outlawed here but common in Los Angeles, Phoenix and other large cities. “We are a market they are dying to get into,” she said. Wilson also called the deal a “snow job,” contending that proponents’ focus on wayfinding and help with homelessness are a ruse to distract from the kiosks being all about advertising. She also complained city officials increased the number of kiosks from 50 to 75 this spring without notifying the public, and said the mayor was only making the deal because he wanted to do a financial favor for the Downtown Partnership. The kiosks were also opposed by the Sierra Club and the Save Our Heritage Organisation. Read the full article online at sandiegouniontribune.com.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — Scenic America and Scenic San Diego June 7, 2023. Download this press release (pdf).
JUNE 7, 2023, WASHINGTON, SAN DIEGO - We are disappointed and disheartened at the San Diego City Council’s 7:1 vote to approve up to 75 new digital advertising kiosks in downtown San Diego yesterday. Labeled “wayfinding kiosks” by supporters, these sidewalk billboards will add visual blight, distraction, and confusion to our scenic community beginning in three years.
Not to mention, this program is counter to San Diego’s longstanding outdoor advertising laws, which have kept our community nearly free of such visual pollution for four decades.
San Diego was the first to take a case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, establishing its legal authority to limit outdoor advertising clutter in the 1981 case Metromedia v. San Diego. The city then became a nationwide leader when it froze the number of billboards at those existing in 1983.
By approving these kiosks, the City Council has opened the door for advertising companies to file for similar exemptions. It cannot be overstated that the Council’s ruling could devastate the scenic character of our community.
Scenic San Diego volunteer director Pam Wilson voiced the opposition of over a hundred San Diegans to the digital kiosk proposal at the June 6th San Diego City Council meeting. With a presentation outlining conflicts of interest, overblown benefit claims and the dangers of undermining San Diego’s historic sign ordinance, Wilson spoke passionately against the proposal.
To watch the full meeting online go to the City of San Diego City Council webcasts page, scroll down to the agenda and select Item #334. Go to the webcasts page.
Scenic San Diego is an all-volunteer coalition of concerned citizens and organizations who favor strong sign ordinances and oppose billboards and other advertising sign proliferation.