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Resolution to be considered Wednesday intends to put Portland at the forefront of public privacy protections

WHAT IS HAPPENING? The City Council will consider adopting Data Privacy and Information Protection Principles on Wednesday, June 19.

If the resolution is approved, the city will convene an internal work group to develop a 12-month work plan to direct the implementation of the principles, and to involve the community in the development of specific short- and long-term privacy policies, as well as the identification of resources to continue the work.

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? All governments are collecting, storing and using more and more data on the people they represent. The amount of data and potential uses are increasing with advancing technologies, such as the coming 5G wireless communication network, which is anticipated to drive a number of Smart City PDX programs in Portland.

Leaks of such data by governments and businesses already have put many people at risk of identity theft and other serious problems. Portland wants to lead the way in becoming a more trusted steward of such data as it plans to take advantage of emerging technologies. This is especially necessary for protecting marginalized communities. The proposed principles were developed by Smart City PDX, Mayor Ted Wheeler's office and the Office of Equity and Human Rights.

WHAT ARE THE PROPOSED PRINCIPLES? The resolution to be considered by the council includes the following:

• Transparency and accountability: How the city uses, manages and collects information is described clearly, accurately and shared in an accessible way.

• Full lifecycle stewardship: Data, metadata and information will be secured and protected throughout its life cycle.

• Equitable data management: The city will prioritize the needs of marginalized communities when designing or implementing data-related programs, services and policies.

• Ethical and nondiscriminatory use of data: The city has an ethical responsibility to provide good and fair stewardship of data and information.

• Data openness: Data, metadata and information managed by the city and by third parties working on behalf of the city that are made accessible to the public must comply with all applicable legal requirements and not expose any confidential, restricted, private, personal information or aggregated data that may put communities, individuals or sensitive assets at risk.

• Automated decision systems: The city will create procedures for reviewing, sharing, assessing and evaluating automated decision system tools.

• Data utility: All information and data processes must bring value to the city and the communities the city serves.

WHAT CAN I DO? You can read the resolution and supporting materials at the agenda link of the city's website at You also can find contact information for all council members there.

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