CTTAB PRIVACY COMMITTEE (CPC) – 2014 ACTIVITIES
Prepared by Beryl Fernandes, Chair
Councilmember Bruce Harrell, Chair of the City Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee, communicated to CTTAB in 2013 and again in 2014 that “Privacy” was one of the Council’s priorities. At its annual work plan meeting March 11, 2014, the CTTAB Board adopted “privacy” as one of its own priority issue areas and officially established the City of Seattle CTTAB Privacy Committee (SCPC).
CTTAB’s Privacy Committee (SCPC) set about crafting a CTTAB privacy committee work plan. Although related, this work plan is separate from and independent of other city, department, or citizen organization work plans, and intended to work in concert to ultimately and comprehensively address privacy concerns and best practices for city residents, workers and small business.
We began by using a source document that listed “privacy” issues by category as a starting point for discussion. This approach was intended to objectively define the scope rather than begin with a preconceived notion of what is best for the City or the people of Seattle. Recognizing the challenge of selecting from an array of definitions, concepts and approaches, Beryl suggested the idea of a panel/symposium to raise awareness, inform and help refine the scope. The idea entailed bringing outside expertise, as well as a broad cross-section of Seattleites to help chart a course for privacy, which could then be implemented by any entities wishing to take on portions of the recommendations. The idea of a panel was met with enthusiasm by everyone present at the meeting as well as subsequently by the CTTAB Board at its May 13, 2014 meeting.
The CTTAB-Privacy committee work is designed in three phases:
a) Pre-Symposium outreach and crowdsourcing to identify Seattle resident, worker and small business needs and suggestions for privacy
b)The Symposium, to include perspectives of both people impacted by and those with expertise in the multi-faceted issues of privacy, and
c) Post-Symposium hackathon-type of event to provide an opportunity for people from the community to coalesce around specific issues, develop selected action items, and report back.
When Washington State Supreme Court Justice Mary Yu, http://justicemaryyu.com/ mentioned “privacy” as an emerging issue for the courts in a KUOW radio interview, we contacted the Justice’s office and asked if she might be interested in participating in a panel discussion on privacy. Justice Yu responded affirmatively – if it worked with her schedule. Working with her schedule, we landed on August 28, 2014 for the Privacy Symposium.
We went into high gear planning the event – panelists, reserving City Hall, obtaining sponsorships, outreach, planning pre-Symposium crowdsourcing and focus groups, designing a post-Symposium hackathon, and more. We organized volunteers around specific tasks, using conference calls, email, and other mechanisms to rapidly deploy volunteers and plan for this symposium – in six weeks.
In July, the Department of Information Technology (DOIT) asked for more time and we rescheduled the Symposium to September 26. With a new Chief Technology Officer and the Mayor’s Office now needing more time, we rescheduled again, this time to 5.30-7.30pm Thursday, March 26, 2015, a date when Justice Yu would again make herself available to us.
At its Sept. 9, 2014 meeting, CTTAB voted in support of the Privacy Committee’s recommendation to reschedule the Privacy Symposium from Sept. 25, 2014 to March 26, 2015.