Examples of Civic Digital Trusts

There are currently only a small number of working data or digital trusts in operation, and they have not yet been independently evaluated. With the rapid growth of the smart city industry, we anticipate the number of examples will also grow quickly and there will be many more case studies to learn from. We also expect the scope and scale of digital trusts to become increasingly ambitious. Because of the limited number of city examples, we also consider related applications of trusts for governing other data sets.

Barcelona
London
Silicon Valley School Board
Trūata
Health Data Exchanges

In this pilot, residents will use environmental sensors which record factors such as noise levels and pollution. The sensors will be located inside their homes and in their neighbourhood. DECODE technology will enable them to share this encrypted data anonymously with their communities, on their own terms. DECODE provides tools that put individuals in control of whether they keep their personal data private or share it for the public good.

What Toronto can learn from this initiative: This pilot project will glean insights into the ability for a data trust to function, provide oversight and generate value for the citizens of the city. Barcelona's digital democracy software is a great tool for civic participation in government. This initiative has portals such as BCNOW to allow for open data visualization. The data being collected stems from the investment in IoT environmental sensors throughout the city and in home, where citizens can choose to opt-in and share their data.

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As part of London's ambition to be the smartest city in the world, the Open Data Institute (ODI) and London have joined forces to develop pilots in Greenwich that will focus on real time data from Internet of Things (IoT) sensors (ig. energy use, parking space occupancy and weather) to create solutions to city challenges, while maintaining the privacy and security of Londoners.

What Toronto can learn from this initiative: The London initiative has several pillars on their roadmap to drive success of their vision of a smart city. An interesting area to learn and watch, is the development of the Office of Data Analytics (LODA), piloted in mid 2017, which will oversee the data sharing and collaboration of city data.

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The Silicon Valley Regional School Board is working to tear down the silos between partners and other public agencies to create more value through safe sharing of personal data. Sharing these data sets among previously siloed institutions, such as public school districts, public health, child and family services, mental health, juvenile justice and Education Technology companies, is allowing for a more robust understanding of contributing factors of student success and failure within the school system in Silicon Valley.

What Toronto can learn from this initiative: The SVRDT has created standards and principles for the agencies they work with to enrich children, especially those living in poverty. These standards and privacy methods hold these organizations to higher standards, which are balanced with the goals of collaboration to improve the student education experience.

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Trūata is a private partnership data trust between IBM and Mastercard. Set up as a trust, Trūata offers a new approach to handling data anonymization and analytics to help organizations meet the standards of personal data protection envisioned by the GDPR. Trūata offers its customers a service to fully anonymize data and provides analytic services to assist customers with tools, data insights, algorithms and reports that customers can use in their own products and solutions.

What Toronto can learn from this initiative: Understand the technical architecture and collaborative agreement for this private data trust partnership. While this is unlikely to be the right model for a civic digital trust, it can provide insight into the value proposition of data trusts for corporate data owners to participate in a civic digital trust.

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In the field of health, trusted data exchange models have been developed in many different jurisdictions. In the US, the Nationwide Health Information Network was established in 2004 to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare by establishing a mechanism for nationwide health information exchange. A critical component of the NHIN is the trust model that bridges a diverse group of public and private entities. This trust model provides a common foundation for privacy and security obligations, accountability and governance in the midst of varying diverse federal, state and local policies and laws. Health information exchanges gather private and personalized data for the patient's entire health journey, including physician visits, hospital services, other health practitioners and medication services. This allows health care providers more complete information to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of the patients.

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What Toronto can learn from this initiative: With highly sensitive personal data, there are methods to share information across organizations to drive value for patients. With such highly personal data, what measure are in place to ensure the privacy of the patients and accountability of the entities to use the data ethically? How are caregivers provided access to patient health data?