Open Data Day 2021

by Seattle Information Technology Chief Privacy Officer Ginger Armbruster

The City of Seattle has been a national leader in municipal data transparency since we first introduced our Open Data Portal in 2010. Seattle IT worked with a local company, Socrata, to partner in this vision, supported by a 2016 executive order that that all municipal data be made “open by preference”. From that early beginning we now post over 500 data sets from 29 City departments and see an average of 500 thousand to 1 million users accessing the portal every month.

So, what does 2021 hold for City of Seattle Open Data? This year we have updated our portal with a new look and feel, focusing on making data and information more accessible for those seeking to use it. To spur new ideas and innovation, we will be publishing more examples and case studies of how open data may be used in support of research and business interests and in providing residents with transparency about City operations and services. We also plan more targeted outreach to local universities, colleges, and secondary schools to engage students in using City data for data-driven academic projects. Later in the year we hope to reinitiate public events to promote the use of City data to inform and solve community challenges. To support all this, we are working with City departments to automate data set publication and updates to ensure that data is as fresh and relevant as possible and to prioritize the publication of data that is of most interest to the public.

The City of Seattle remains deeply committed to transparency and service through our decade-long leadership in Open Data. We invite everyone during this week leading up to International Open Data Day on Saturday March 6th to check out the City of Seattle Open Data Portal and stay tuned for additional updates in 2021!

As the City of Seattle’s Chief Privacy Officer, Ginger leads a team of privacy specialists in the execution of the City’s Privacy Program, following a principles-based approach to the City’s collection and management of the public’s personal and sensitive information. Her office also has responsibility for compliance to the City’s Surveillance Ordinance, Open Data Program, and Citywide Public Records Act Program. Ginger started her career at the City working for the Data Security division, where one of her responsibilities was monitoring data breach activity. She is not remotely ready for her teenager to start driving.