Seattle IT’s New Director of Security, Risk, and Compliance: Dena Solt

Dena Solt:  Director of Security, Risk and Compliance

Feeling insecure these days?  You could talk to a therapist—or you could get a dose of security from Seattle IT’s new Director of Security, Risk, and Compliance, Dena Solt. “Questions, concerns, and ideas are always welcome, so please send me a note or stop by,” Dena says. “I am passionate about risk and compliance management and I genuinely love what I do.”

Hired in July, Dena fills the final position on Seattle IT’s Executive Team where she leads the effort to keep the City’s—and its customers’—data secure and privacy protected.  To do that, Dena sees her challenge as “responding to day-to-day security and privacy matters while getting an understanding of the vast and complex City of Seattle, its systems and operations.”  One of her first priorities is to develop a prioritized and cohesive multi-year strategic plan for the City’s information security, risk, compliance, and privacy program—a plan that will ensure information assets are stored and protected in a manner that meets or exceeds corporate, compliance and regulatory requirements, and builds the public’s trust in government.

That/s a tall order for somebody still new to the City of Seattle; Dena acknowledges that success depends on “developing, and empowering a team of proactive, collaborative, knowledgeable individuals to help carry out the plan.”  She says she feels fortunate that her staff and the other Seattle IT employees she has met are “incredibly talented, knowledgeable, and dedicated.” One of the first accomplishments in building out the new Security, Risk, and Compliance team was the appointment of Chief Information Security Officer Jeff Brausieck, who will be joining the team on August 10th.

While Dena may be new to the City, she is not new to her role.  She comes to Seattle IT with more than eighteen years of experience in technology, information security, risk management, compliance, and privacy.  She has worked on four continents and lived in South Africa prior to moving to the state of Washington thirteen years ago.  A Certified Information Security Auditor, she has assisted a wide range of public and private sector organizations, participated in various security industry initiatives, and served as Director of Corporate Risk and Compliance for drugstore.com/Walgreens, where she managed security, privacy, compliance, internal audit, payment processing, and IT finance.

When she’s not working, Dena enjoys adventure travel, photography (she is now venturing into astrophotography,) and spending time with friends and family, including her 20-year-old son when he is home from college.

Both personally and professionally, Dena sees Seattle IT as a great fit. “I decided to join Seattle IT after meeting Michael Mattmiller and the IT leadership team who I can now proudly refer to as my colleagues,” she notes. “I whole-heartedly believe in the vision and direction and simply could not turn away from the opportunity to work with you all to tackle the challenges, mitigate the risks, and be part of the solution.”

Meet City of Seattle’s new Chief Privacy Officer (CPO): Susan Goodman

Susan Goodman

Susan Goodman knows a lot about data and information – how to collect, maintain, manage and dispose of data, carefully. She also knows about the delicate balance between transparent government and protecting its citizen’s Privacy.

Susan brings impressive credentials to Seattle. She has a Master’s Degree and is a Certified Information Privacy Professional with extensive experience – in the US and globally – in both the public and private sectors, in-house and as a consultant. From the City and County of Albany, NY, to NY State Govt., the Public Utilities Board of Brownsville, Texas, the Town of Wethersfield, CT, Consumer Reports, Bank of America, Citigroup and others – she developed, led and enhanced Records Management and Privacy programs. Susan was also an adjunct professor of Records Administration at Wayne State University. She speaks at conferences and contributes to technical publications to advance Privacy and Information Governance.

Under the leadership of Mayor Murray, in November 2014 the City launched its Privacy Initiative, led by the Seattle Police Department and Department of Information Technology. The initiative defined 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. Seattle is one of the first cities in the nation to establish its own privacy principles to protect personal information. City partners and vendors are instructed to follow the same guidelines. As Seattle’s Chief Privacy Officer, Susan looks forward to collaborating with all City departments, the Community Technology Advisory Board, the Council, Seattle’s advocacy committee and others to continue to build and to lead a cutting edge Privacy program and to earn the public’s trust in how the City collects and uses data.

“I was very impressed with the City of Seattle and Seattle IT and how forward thinking it is” she said.  “Protecting the private information of Seattle residents, and gaining public trust, is critical to enabling the City of Seattle to provide its residents with valuable, advanced technologies and services.”

Susan’s husband Alan is a retired Social Service Executive Director who directed the Red Cross September 11th Recovery Program, working closely with FEMA and other emergency services in the wake of the disaster. Susan began her role with the City of Seattle on May 2.  Welcome to Seattle, Susan!

For more information on the City’s Privacy Initiative, visit http://www.seattle.gov/privacy.

Mayor Murray signs historic Open Data Executive Order

Mayor Ed Murray today renewed the City of Seattle’s commitment to transparency by signing an Executive Order directing all City departments to comply with a new open data policy, which he announced during last week’s State of the City address.

“Seattle is one of the most innovative and creative cities in the country– by opening up key City datasets to the public, we make it possible for problem solvers outside of government to get involved in finding solutions to civic challenges,” said Mayor Murray. “This Executive Order encourages more transparency between the City and outside partners, and ensures we develop tools that provide critical insights for the public on what’s happening in our city.”

The policy directs all City data to be “open by preference” – meaning City departments will always make their data as accessible as possible to the public, after screening for privacy, security, and quality considerations. This policy is the result of a collaboration between the City of Seattle, the University of Washington, and the Sunlight Foundation through Bloomberg Philanthropies’ national What Works Cities initiative.

Stephen Larrick, Open Data Project Lead at the Sunlight Foundation, which participated in initial drafting through the City’s engagement with What Works Cities, credits Seattle’s effort for a broader shift in thinking about how governments can balance open data and privacy concerns. He said, “Sunlight has long advocated for an ‘open by default’ approach to government information, but with the subtle change to ‘open by preference’–and with the nuanced policy approach to balancing transparency against privacy that language implies–the City of Seattle is proposing a new model for open data policy in a post-Snowden world.”

The University of Washington conducted a thorough review of the policy as part of its partnership with the City of Seattle under the national MetroLab Network. Jan Whittington of the University of Washington’s Tech Policy Lab said of the partnership, “We could not have asked for a more dedicated partner than the City of Seattle as we researched the hopes, concerns, and policy solutions to the problems that arise from municipal open data. With this policy, the City of Seattle is navigating the countervailing forces of transparency, privacy, and security, creating a path that promises to define the responsible release of municipal open data.”

Bill Howe, Senior Data Science Fellow at the University of Washington’s eScience Institute, added, “The City’s leadership in instituting this transformative new policy — one that balances the need for open data with the critical sensitivities around privacy, security, and quality — will serve as a model for other cities nationwide. In the context of the MetroLab Network, the UW eScience Institute is thrilled to support an emerging portfolio of urban data science projects that are directly enabled by this policy.”

Since the launch of the City’s open data program in 2010, more than 400 datasets have been made open, including several that are used by private companies, journalists, and community members. Open data also powers tools hosted on the City’s website such as Open Budget, Performance Seattle, the Police Department’s Neighborhood Crime Map, and the Department of Transportation’s Capital Projects Explorer.

In recent years, the City has expanded its Open Data Program to encourage more partnerships with the public, including initiatives such as 2015’s Hack the Commute, through which more than 140 developers and community advocates prototyped 14 new data-driven technology solutions for improving transportation in Seattle.

In 2016, the Open Data Program, which is managed by the Department of Information Technology, will focus on training employees of other departments and establishing processes that make it easier to release more data to the public. The program has set a goal of having 544 datasets available to the public by the end of 2016.

The new policy can be viewed online at http://www.seattle.gov/opendata. Existing datasets and other information about the Open Data Program are on the City’s open data portal, https://data.seattle.gov/.

Seattle Is Rolling Out It’s Innovative Privacy Program

The City of Seattle continues to lead the nation in protecting citizens’ privacy.  Last fall, the Mayor and City Council launched the City’s new Privacy Initiative.  In February 2015, Seattle’s Privacy Principle’s were announced.

The next phase, the toolkit for Seattle’s Privacy Initiative, is now being implemented.  The toolkit will guide City departments on how to incorporate these principles into daily operations.

“Seattle is leading the nation to implement a comprehensive privacy program across all City departments,” said Seattle Mayor Ed Murray. “Our privacy principles are designed to protect individual privacy while still providing government transparency.”

The Privacy Toolkit will provide guidelines for how each department will implement a privacy assessment. Departments will also identify a privacy champion who will work with a privacy manager at the Department of Information Technology.

“This is a game changer in how we operate and do business to ensure we uphold the highest standard for your privacy,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology Committee. “We have come up with the right balance of transparency, accountability and flexibility.”

The privacy principles and the toolkit 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, privacy advocates and academia. The mayor’s budget for 2016 includes funding for a Chief Privacy Officer for the City who will be charged with implementing the principles.

“This is the first time any city in the country has taken steps to protect the public’s private information whenever possible,” said Councilmember Mike O’Brien. “This groundbreaking toolkit will help city employees think proactively about potential privacy implications with regards to any data or personal information we collect in the course of regular City business or when evaluating a new policy or program,”

In November 2014, the City launched its Privacy Initiative, led by the Seattle Police Department and Department of Information Technology. The initiative defined 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. For more information on the City’s Privacy Initiative, visit http://www.seattle.gov/information-technology/initiatives/privacy-initiative

Seattle is one of the first cities in the nation to establish its own privacy principles to protect personal information. City partners and vendors are instructed to follow the same guidelines.

 

City rolls out innovative privacy program

The City of Seattle is implementing its groundbreaking Privacy Initiative by distributing a toolkit to City departments on how to incorporate these principles into daily operations.

“Seattle is leading the nation to implement a comprehensive privacy program across all City departments,” said Seattle Mayor Ed Murray. “Our privacy principles are designed to protect individual privacy while still providing government transparency.”

The Privacy Toolkit will provide guidelines for how each department will implement a privacy assessment. Departments will also identify a privacy champion who will work with a privacy manager at the Department of Information Technology.

“This is a game changer in how we operate and do business to ensure we uphold the highest standard for your privacy,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology Committee. “We have come up with the right balance of transparency, accountability and flexibility.”

The privacy principles and the toolkit 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, privacy advocates and academia. The mayor’s budget for 2016 includes funding for a Chief Privacy Officer for the City who will be charged with implementing the principles.

“This is the first time any city in the country has taken steps to protect the public’s private information whenever possible,” said Councilmember Mike O’Brien. “This groundbreaking toolkit will help city employees think proactively about potential privacy implications with regards to any data or personal information we collect in the course of regular City business or when evaluating a new policy or program,”

In November 2014, the City launched its Privacy Initiative, led by the Seattle Police Department and Department of Information Technology. The initiative defined 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. For more information on the City’s Privacy Initiative, visit http://www.seattle.gov/information-technology/initiatives/privacy-initiative

Seattle is one of the first cities in the nation to establish its own privacy principles to protect personal information. City partners and vendors are instructed to follow the same guidelines.