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October 10th, 2018

Data Privacy And Management Plans Released For Smart Columbus Operating System

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Oct. 10, 2018) –Smart Columbus is seeking stakeholder feedback on its newly released Data Privacy and Data Management Plans.

Through the USDOT's Smart City Challenge, in 2016, the U.S. Department of Transportation selected Columbus, OH, to define what it means to be a "smart city" and serve as a model for other cities wishing to fully integrate innovative technologies--such as automated vehicles, connected vehicles, and applications--into the transportation network. The Smart Columbus Operating System is the backbone of a smart city and will provide mobility insights to support several Smart Columbus projects to solve for a variety of community challenges by sending, receiving, and visualizing real-time data from public and private organizations. The goal is for the operating system to be a replicable and sustainable data platform that enables better decision making and problem solving for cities, researchers, non-profits, and businesses.

The Data Privacy Plan details Smart Columbus' approach to protect and secure data through privacy control, security controls, identity protection, and a review board.

“We're committed to being respectful and a good steward of personal information, said Dennis Hirsch, Professor of Law, Faculty Director of Data & Governance, The Ohio State Moritz College of Law.

The Data Privacy Plan starts with a statement of principles that illustrates Smart Columbus' commitment to the ethical use of data. The principles include:

  • Transparency: Smart Columbus will be as open with the public as it can be about how it collects and uses personal data. It will do so through webinars and community forums, privacy notices, establishing channels to submit comments and ask questions, and more.
  • Notice and Choice: Smart Columbus will notify individuals when it collects and uses their information, and will give them a choice as to whether to allow this. 
  • Limitation: Smart Columbus will use individuals’ information only for the purposes stated in the notice, and to which the individual consented. In this way, Smart Columbus will respect people’s expectations with respect to their data.
  • Data Minimization: Smart Columbus projects will collect only the minimum amount of personal information that they need to accomplish their purpose.
  • Data Security: Smart Columbus will apply robust information security controls that take into account the sensitivity of project data and the risk to individuals that it poses if released.
  • Confidentiality: Smart Columbus will ensure that the data it releases on the Smart Columbus Data Portal does not contain information about identifiable individuals. 
  • Accountability: Smart Columbus will institute the processes necessary to ensure that it follows and meets each of the above principles.

The Data Management Plan provides guidelines and best practices around how data should be treated. “The data management plan is comparable to how businesses make budgets or forecasts to define how to manage their cash assets, but in our case it's data,” said Ty Sonagere, Manager, Data Governance, Quality, and Advocacy, CoverMyMeds.

Both plans were developed by industry experts including the Smart Columbus Operating System Technical Working Group, which has grown to 145 members from 57 different organizations who volunteer their time. 

Given the nature of the mixed project management methodologies for the nine USDOT projects, the team decided to take an iterative approach to developing the plans. Starting with a framework and then each iteration thereafter provides another layer of detail and specificity needed to strengthen the plans. The documents are living documents and will continue to be refined throughout the course of the program.

“There are several key factors that define a smart city, but data is at the core. These plans are state of the art and give other cities a guide for how to protect and manage data to build a better future,” said Jodie Bare, Deputy Program Manager – Technology, The City of Columbus.

For more information tune into a webinar on the essentials of the Smart Columbus Operating System hosted by ITS America Wednesday, October 10 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. Click here to register.

The City of Columbus will be accepting comments through Wednesday, October 17, 2018. Please email comments with your contact information and state whether or not you represent a vendor interest to with the Subject: SCOS/DPP/DPM Comments. 


About Smart Columbus

The City of Columbus’ Smart Columbus plan won the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) $40 million Smart City Challenge in June 2016 after competing against 77 cities nationwide to become the country’s first city to fully integrate innovative technologies – self-driving cars, connected vehicles and smart sensors – into its transportation network. Columbus was also awarded an additional $10 million grant from the Paul G. Allen Philanthropies to accelerate the transition to an electrified, low-emissions transportation system. Aligned investments totaling more than $500 million have been made by the private, public and academic institutions in the region to support technology and infrastructure investments that upgrade Columbus' transportation network and help make Columbus the model connected city of the future. Smart Columbus is a regional smart city initiative co-led by the City of Columbus and Columbus Partnership that includes partnerships with The Ohio State University, Battelle, American Electric Power and many more. 

For more information, visit the Smart Columbus website,


About Smart Columbus Operating System

The Smart Columbus Operating System more than just enables a traditional data exchange. It is a system for complex computations and transactions that can ingest and present multiple types of data for game-time decision making, use data for machine learning, and serve as the resource for artificial intelligence. The system is home for applications and services that can be shared across multiple platforms to enrich the user’s experience by presenting deeper, more region-specific solutions. The operating system embodies open-data and open-source concepts to enable better decision-making and problem-solving for all users to support a replicable, extensible, and sustainable platform.

For more information visit,

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