Municipal Leaders Joining Network to Advance Civic Data Privacy


Connected technologies and always-on data flows are helping make today’s cities and communities more livable, productive, and equitable. At the same time, these technologies raise concerns about individual privacy, autonomy, freedom of choice, and institutional discrimination.

How do we leverage the benefits of a data-rich society while giving members of our community the confidence of knowing their privacy is protected? How can we reduce traffic, fill potholes faster, and deliver services more efficiently in an equitable, privacy-conscious way?

The Future of Privacy Forum, in partnership with the MetroLab Network and with the support of the National Science Foundation, is announcing the Civic Data Privacy Leaders Network, a collaborative that will provide an active, authoritative resource for municipal leaders to navigate emerging privacy issues, share practical guidance, and promote fair and transparent data practices.

Government officials from 25+ communities have already joined this new network, along with other representatives from cities and counties from across the country, including: Asheville, NC; Arlington County, VA; Austin, TX; Boston, MA; Boulder, CO; Columbus, OH; Gainesville, FL; Kansas City, MO; Los Angeles, CA; McLean County, IL; Minneapolis, MN; New York, NY; Oakland, CA; Portland, ME; Portland, OR; San Francisco, CA; San Jose, CA; Santa Clara County, CA; Seattle, WA; Toronto, Can.; Washington, DC; and Weld County, CO.

Over a two-year period, FPF and the Civic Data Privacy Leaders Network will advance civic data privacy by:

  1.  Creating a comprehensive Privacy Risk Assessment for smart and connected community projects, providing guidance to local governments and technology providers and ensuring projects serve the common good.
  2. Expanding the network of privacy leaders for smart cities and creating peer networks, best practices, and practical tools for responsible data use.
  3. Hosting workshops in conjunction with MetroLab Network, the South Big Data Hub, and others in order to share best practices and identify areas for further research and collaboration.

These efforts will equip local officials with the tools they need to collect and use civic data responsibly, engage with the public about data and technology, and unleash the power of data to improve our communities. By working to advance public knowledge, understanding, and engagement with privacy-related concerns, the Civic Data Privacy Leaders Network will support public trust in smart city technologies and in local government.

This collaborative will have representation from a diverse set of stakeholders in U.S. and global smart cities and communities.

Privacy leaders from local government are invited to join our network and take part in this unique opportunity to shape our communities in a way that balances privacy protections and data use for the common good.

To learn more or to join the network, contact Kelsey Finch at [email protected]