A California judge this week ordered the City of Los Angeles to release documents related to its smart city initiatives to Children’s Health Defense (CHD), which requested the documents under the California Public Records Act.

Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff said the city must turn over missing email attachments, produce supplemental documents, conduct a new search relevant to privacy laws and contracts, and deliver other documents the city withheld last year by claiming privilege when it only partially responded to CHD’s request.

In his order, Judge Beckloff cautioned the city that “the Petitioners’ interest in the requested records is substantial” and that interest — namely the city’s Digital Code of Ethics and “the right of a member of the public to opt out of the collection and sharing of personal data” — must be considered when the city invokes deliberative process privilege.

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