City of Portland adopts data Privacy and Information Protection Principles, looks ahead to next steps with Privacy Work Group

Today, Portland City Council approved the City of Portland Privacy and Information Protection Principles with a unanimous vote. The principles set guidelines to protect private and sensitive data managed by the City of Portland. The principles also apply to those working on behalf of the City of Portland.

The adoption of the principles marks six months of work led by the Smart City PDX team in the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS), Office of Equity and Human Rights (OEHR) and the Mayor’s Office. Principles development included internal and external conversations. This includes feedback and support from community members, over 30 City agencies, outside partners, and other cities. A City Council work session and two public forums in November 2018 and January 2019 contributed additional significant feedback.

Community involvement during principles implementation will continue to be a focus and expanded upon. The City needs to keep learning from underserved communities about privacy and data concerns to put policies in place. Technology advancements occur at a rapid pace and data collection projects as well. The risks, benefits, and burdens will evolve and affect communities differently.

Next steps with the Privacy Work Group

The adoption of the principles is only a first step. BPS and OEHR staff will work with other city bureaus and communities over the upcoming year to carry out the principles. To support this work, Smart City PDX is partnering with the Office of Equity and Human Rights to coordinate a Privacy Work Group with City staff from Archives, Auditor’s Office, Bureau of Technology Services, City Attorney’s Office, Community and Civic Life, Office for Community Technology, Office of Management, and Finance, Portland Bureau of Transportation, Portland Police Bureau, and Portland Water Bureau.

The Privacy Work Group kicks off next week, June 25. This group will serve in an advisory role to the City’s data governance strategy. Meetings and workshops will occur for one year to develop policies and procedures for upholding the Privacy Principles. The Work Group will identify staff and budget resource needs for implementation. Another goal includes creating initial privacy assessment tools. Such tools could support staff to apply the principles to their work in the near-term.

During the life of the Privacy Work Group, critical and short-term privacy issues may develop rapidly. The group will work to define these issues and efficient procedures to address them. Through all this work, incorporating communities in both short and long-term decision making will be key to successful implementation of the Privacy Principles.

Read more about the principles and download a handout with the full text of the principles.

Also listen or watch to the City Council presentation which begins at 46:25 on the recording, especially the thoughtful testimony and questions from the public.

Read the news release on the website of the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability.