SIDNEY -- The Sidney City Council tabled discussion on contracting for location analytics software. 

Economic Development Director Brandy Stone approached the city council in the May 14 council meeting with a proposal to contract with Placer is a location analytics software powered by mobile data that monitors tens of millions of mobile devices across the U.S. to provide data on any physical location, according to Stone's presentation.

"This tool took a lot of due diligence, a lot of background research. I've been working on this about four weeks, five weeks with Tourism and the Chamber. In today's competitive world of business, technology remains a friend of the economy as it strives to grow and offer populations what they need. I'd like to discuss a method that could be very beneficial to the economy of Sidney and Cheyenne County," Stone said in her presentation to the city council.

She said she has been in conversations with the Cheyenne County Chamber of Commerce and Cheyenne County Tourism since she came to the City.

"The Chamber and Cheyenne County Tourism both reached out to me early in my position here in economic development to discuss their desire to partner on this. is a location analytic software powered by mobile data," she said.

Stone said the proposal is not to monitor residents.

"Before we get into the issue of privacy concerns or topic of 'smart cities' neither of those are the goal for this tool used within Cheyenne County and the city of Sidney. They collect only location data, not the device's ID or PII (Personal Identifiable Information) from devices that agree to background location sharing. These people have already agreed to sharing their GPS," she said. 

She said as Economic Development Director, she is looking for ways to prove to businesses they will prosper in Sidney and Cheyenne County. Data would be shared with business owners and entrepreneurs. The agreement would be at $9,500 for the first year. Tourism has committed $2,500 to the project, and $7,000 would come from the Economic Development budget.

Barbara Perez, editor/publisher of the Sidney Sun-Telegraph, questioned if the company is as reliable as stated.

"I have some grave concerns. I would strongly urge all of you to look up the problems behind it. A simple web search, there's an incredible amount of information opposed to it," Perez asked.

She said Stone "did kind of gloss over it." She added there is an additional software to ensure there is no hacking. She said AI is too new to simply accept it. 

Council members said she is probably not the only one with concerns and asked the decision be tabled, and for a presentation from Stone said she will have do a presentation.