MetroLab Partners with Future of Privacy Forum to Advance Civic Data Privacy

Today’s cities and communities are rapidly transforming, thanks to always-on data flows and the proliferation of innovative technologies. MetroLab has always believed that collaboration between local governments, universities, and other stakeholders is necessary to ensure that this transformation is effective, fair, and responsible.

We’re working to answer some important questions about civic data. How do we leverage the benefits of a data-rich society while giving people 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?

MetroLab, in partnership with the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) and with the support of the National Science Foundation, is proud to announce 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.

FPF’s thought leadership on privacy and tech policy makes it the ideal partner for this project. Its mission is to advance principled data practices in support of emerging technologies. FPF brings together industry, academics, consumer advocates, and other thought leaders to unlock data’s potential to improve society for all.

Government officials from Seattle, Portland, and Oakland have already joined this new network, along with other representatives from cities from across the country.

Over a two-year period, FPF, MetroLab, and the Civic Data Privacy Leaders Network will be part of an initiative to advance civic data privacy by:

  • Expanding the network of privacy leaders for smart cities and creating peer networks, best practices, and practical tools for responsible data use.
  • 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.

Hosting workshops in conjunction with MetroLab, 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 unleash the power of data to improve our cities, while respecting individual rights.

Local government privacy leaders 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