Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell

Archive for February, 2015

Feb 23 2015

City Adopts Privacy Principles to Protect the Public

SEATTLE – City Council unanimously approved a resolution today to provide a framework for dealing with current and future technologies that impact privacy. This is a major step with the adoption of six privacy principles guiding the actions the City will take when collecting and using information from the public. The Council also established an August 2015 reporting deadline for City departments to create a “Privacy Toolkit,” a package of actionable privacy standards to enable City departments to comply with today’s adopted principles relating to privacy.

“We want to assure the public we are implementing policies to ensure the security and protection of your personal information,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology Committee. “Seattle’s Privacy Initiative is working to strike that right balance between protecting your personal information, providing services and being transparent with the public.”

“This clear support by the Council today underscores the city’s leadership in protecting the privacy of those who use City services,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “This is a solid first step in our comprehensive framework to reinforce public trust, even as we continue to invest in new technologies.”

“The Privacy Principles adopted today are an important benchmark in Seattle’s innovative Digital Privacy Initiative, the first of its kind among major cities in the United States,” said Councilmember Mike O’Brien. “In our increasingly digital age, these principles serve as a guide for our work in local government in order to help build and maintain trust with the people we represent.”

Already, a City-wide team representing several departments has been examining best practices relating to data collection, use and disposal. A Privacy Advisory Committee has met several times since the Initiative kicked off in November 2014, comprised of academics, practitioners, lawyers and community advocates, to provide outside expertise and advice to the City’s effort. Both groups helped create today’s approved privacy principles, which relate to the City’s collection, protection, use, retention, sharing and disposal of personal information.

View the approved Privacy Principles here. More information about the Seattle Privacy Initiative is available here.

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Feb 06 2015

Mayor, Councilmember Harrell to Help Kick-Off Black History Month Saturday

Mayor, Councilmember Harrell to Help Kick-Off Black History Month Saturday

Seattle – Mayor Ed Murray and Councilmember Bruce Harrell will address attendees of the first major event celebrating Black History Month in 2015, “Through the Eyes of Art – The Value of Black Life.” The Mayor and Councilmember will acknowledge and celebrate black contributions to American history and culture, then join with attendees to appreciate work from regional artists and photographers in The Value of Black Life art showcase.

Derrick Wheeler Smith, the former National Director of Youth Engagement at World Vision, will keynote the event, which will include music from hip-hop artists Talib Kweli and Draze, appearances from several former Seahawks players, and showcased art from black artists.

The event is $20 and tickets are available at Suggested ages are 13 and up.

WHAT: Black History Month Kickoff Event: Through the Eyes of Art – The Value of Black Life
WHEN: Saturday, February 7, 2015, 6:00 – 9:30 p.m.
325 5th Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98109

WHO: Mayor Ed Murray
Councilmember Bruce A. Harrell

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Feb 03 2015

Seattle poised to be leader in protecting resident privacy

SEATTLE (Feb. 3, 2015) – The City of Seattle has taken the initial step toward becoming one of the first cities in the nation to establish its own privacy principles to protect personal information.

“Technology is constantly changing, and protecting the privacy of those who interact with the city is of utmost importance,” said Seattle Mayor Ed Murray. “The City of Seattle collects personal information in many City processes, such as paying a utility bill or in the form of video from our public safety departments. It’s critical that we strike the right balance between protecting individual privacy and the public’s need for a transparent and open local government.”

“We are demonstrating our commitment to the privacy and security of your personal information,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology Committee. “This is tremendous work by DoIT and the interdepartmental work team to bring consistency and accountability in our day-to-day interactions with the public.”

In November 2014 the City launched its Privacy Initiative, led by the Seattle Police Department and Department of Information Technology, to define how the City collects, uses, and disposes of data in a manner that balances the needs of the City to conduct its business with individual privacy, and builds public trust.

“These principles are an important benchmark in Seattle’s innovative Digital Privacy Initiative. I look forward to working with City Council to adopt these principles by resolution in order to enshrine our values around privacy and to guide our future decisions and actions with regards to our people’s personal information,” said Councilmember Mike O’Brien, who helped raise the issue of digital privacy at Council in 2013.

The first of three deliverables, a set of privacy principles, was transmitted to the Seattle City Council today. These principles establish a core foundation from which City employees will approach decision making when doing work that involves personal data and information. All city departments will use these principles to inform the collection, use, management and sharing of the public’s personal information.

The proposed privacy principles include:

1. We value your privacy.

Keeping your personal information private is very important. We consider potential risks to the well-being of you and the public before collecting, using and disclosing your personal information.

2. We collect and keep only what we need.

We only collect information that we need to deliver City services and keep it as long as we are legally required or there is a valid business purpose. When it is practical, we tell you when we are collecting this information.

3. Using your information.

When appropriate, we make available information about the ways we use your personal information at the time we collect it. If possible, we will give you a choice about how we use your information.

4. We are accountable.

We manage personal information in a manner that is consistent with our commitments and as required by law. We protect your personal information by restricting improper access and by securing our computing resources from threats.

5. Sharing information.

We follow federal and state laws about information disclosure whenever we work with outside governmental agencies to protect our community and in answering public disclosure requests. Business partners and contracted vendors who receive or collect personal information from us or for us to deliver City services must agree to our privacy requirements.

6. Accuracy is important.

We work to maintain and use accurate personal information for City business. When practical, we will work to correct inaccurate personal information. We also instruct our partners and contracted vendors to follow the same guidelines.

These privacy principles were created by an interdepartmental team comprised of more than 10 departments and an external Privacy Advisory Committee comprised of community members and privacy experts from private industry, law firms, and academia. For more information on the City’s Privacy Initiative, visit

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