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The official launch of the Taipei City Government’s Data Management Committee Protecting private information while providing convenient services

With the arrival of the big data era, the importance of data integration in city services and policies has become an unavoidable topic. In order for the Taipei City Government to maximize the value of the data collected, it has established the first Data Management Committee in Taiwan. The committee would open a new “data-driven” chapter for Taipei and is expected to utilize resources from public and private sectors in creating a data management framework and mechanism that would serve as the backbone of enforcing convenient city services and privacy protection for its citizens. 

The announcement of the national wide NewID has led to wide-scale social concerns, it would be a challenge for local governments to organize, protect, and integrate its data across departments. The Taipei City Government has founded the Data Management Committee to serve its citizen’s needs, by consulting the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation in the creation of data encryption and exchange mechanism (TX, Taipei Cross). This mechanism would ensure the protection of sensitive information across city departments while enabling the citizens to enjoy a fast and convenient one-stop service. This would not only improve the quality and speed of our services, it would also strengthen the protection of citizen’s privacy and personal information security. 

The Data Management Committee would consist of three subdivisions, including the privacy protection division, the integrated application divisions, and the geographic information system (GIS) division. This Committee would be co-operated by the Taipei City Government's Department of Legal Affairs, Department of Information Technology, Research, Development and Evaluation Commission, and academic and industry professionals. An external connection with the society would ensure that the view from third-parties would align with the city government’s data-driven policies, ensuring that the data collected is used appropriately while personal data is under protection. 

The privacy protection division would be responsible for protecting citizen’s privacy and preserving data integrity by creating mechanisms, templates, or guidance for the management of sensitive information, and data protection. This would include data inventorying, risk evaluation, classified control, training of personnel, evaluation for improvements, and policies on collecting, processing and using sensitive information. At the same time, this division would also evaluate the city government's current cybersecurity policies, plans, and execution results, and provide suggestions for improvements.

The integrated application division would create a city-wide data exchange and verification platform, connecting it to the city government's big data center. This would enable the city government to formulate data-driven policies that would be utilized in city management, and planning. In addition, the division plans to introduce supporting policies for the use of data application scenarios, directions, and models. Through the data collected, and the cooperation of the various divisions within this committee, it would enable Taipei to become a self-conscious, and sustainable city. 

The GIS division would guide various offices across different departments in standardizing geospatial information, enabling information across different areas to work with each other, maximizing the data’s value by applying it in new ways. The creation of a GIS publishing and display platform would increase and diversify city-wide GIS information available and enable information being stored, searched, and collected in appropriate ways. 

The rise of information technology and big data in recent years have deeply affected people’s daily life and the business world. The Taipei City Government has been continuously investing and moving towards a smart city while taking the possible threat and concerns that citizens may face into consideration. Our aim is to create a digital community that is convenient, harmonious, and sustainable for our citizens, while moving towards a human-centered and sustainable smart city.