Embedding Privacy by Design into IRIS Technologies
August 14, 2019

Video collected from city cameras can offer rich data that can help cities and municipalities better manage urban environments and deliver services in a more effective and efficient way. They can help to make communities safer, more liveable, sustainable, and fair. Many involve the collection and use of large amounts of information, including personal information. Cities or municipalities that use these connected technologies are often described as “smart cities.

“The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC) provides independent oversight of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA). This act protects the privacy of personal information by setting rules for its collection, use and disclosure by municipalities and municipal institutions.”

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association launched a lawsuit Tuesday against all three levels of government involved in a bid to bring a high-tech neighbourhood to Toronto's downtown core.

Federal, provincial and municipal governments are all named in the notice of application filed by the civil rights and freedoms group, which has been threatening since March to launch legal action over the yet-to-be-approved Quayside project.

The suit also names Waterfront Toronto, a local organization that's partnered with Google sibling company Sidewalk Labs to develop five hectares of waterfront land into a "smart city" with high-tech sensors built into nearly every aspect of its infrastructure.

A notice of application announcing the suit alleged the project is replete with potential privacy breaches that violate Canadians' constitutional rights.

In order for Cities to collect, store, analyze and use data collected from traffic, public and surveillance cameras and sensors, any personally identifying data is removed or "anonymized" immediately at collection point. Personal data include faces, plate numbers and other personal identifiable data uniquely identifiable to the individual. This entails obscuring faces, deleting parts of the video that captures personal information during collection of video before the video is stored. This is a major hurdle that must be overcome to be able to harvest video sources into actionable data.

A picture of Emil Sylvester Ramos, CEO & Saurabh Mahajan COO with Three Term Information and Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian

Emil Sylvester Ramos, CEO & Saurabh Mahajan COO with Three Term Information and Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian

IRIS has developed an innovative, “Cutting Edge” rudimentary privacy “de-identification” algorithm that can be containerized/ deployed on an imbedded system.

This product was validated by Dr. Ann Cavoukian as having the potential to disrupt the industry and be an example of how the international Privacy by Design principles can be key tool for innovation for smart cities and protect the privacy of the public.

To know more irisPRIVACY and how it can help your city to remain MFIPPA compliant, contact the IRIS team: info@irisradgroup.com