City Council unanimously approved a resolution on Monday to provide a framework for dealing with current and future technologies that impact privacy. This is a major step with the adoption of six privacy principles guiding the actions the City will take when collecting and using information from the public. The Council also established an August 2015 reporting deadline for City departments to create a “Privacy Toolkit,” a package of actionable privacy standards to enable City departments to comply with the adopted privacy principles.
“This clear support by the Council underscores the city’s leadership in protecting the privacy of those who use City services,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “This is a solid first step in our comprehensive framework to reinforce public trust, even as we continue to invest in new technologies.”
“We want to assure the public we are implementing policies to ensure the security and protection of your personal information,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology Committee. “Seattle’s Privacy Initiative is working to strike that right balance between protecting your personal information, providing services and being transparent with the public.”
“The Privacy Principles adopted today are an important benchmark in Seattle’s innovative Digital Privacy Initiative, the first of its kind among major cities in the United States,” said Councilmember Mike O’Brien. “In our increasingly digital age, these principles serve as a guide for our work in local government in order to help build and maintain trust with the people we represent.”
Already at the direction of Mayor Ed Murray, a City-wide team representing several departments has been examining best practices relating to data collection, use and disposal. A Privacy Advisory Committee met several times since the Initiative kicked off in November 2014, comprised of academics, practitioners, lawyers and community advocates, to provide outside expertise and advice to the City’s effort. Both groups helped create today’s approved privacy principles, which relate to the City’s collection, protection, use, retention, sharing and disposal of personal information.