Court rules public has right to GIS information in Greenwich in U.S.A.

Court rules public has right to GIS information in Greenwich in U.S.A.

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In a case watched closely by Westport and other towns upgrading technology, the Connecticut Supreme Court in the U.S.A. has ruled that the public has a right to see aerial photos and other records of Greenwich despite concerns about privacy, crime and terrorism. The high court ruled unanimously that Greenwich must release its computer database of aerial photographs and maps known as a GIS. The court said the town failed to show the records are exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act because of security concerns.

Greenwich officials have said that the uncontrolled release of detailed information on infrastructure, public safety facilities, schools and celebrities’ homes in electronic form could lead to breaches in security and privacy. The town has been reluctant to disclose the records to the public since the Sept. 11 attacks. Westport’s Representative Town Meeting earlier this month approved spending $420,000 on a Web-based GIS . During the debate on the appropriation at the RTM and Board of Finance, several residents expressed security concerns related to making the information easily available to the public.