Who are we?
Sidewalk Labs is an Alphabet company tackling the challenges of urban growth. We are currently designing a new kind of mixed-use, complete community on Toronto’s waterfront in partnership with the tripartite agency Waterfront Toronto and the local community. This joint effort, called Sidewalk Toronto, will combine forward-thinking urban design and new digital technology to create a people-centered neighborhood that achieves precedent-setting levels of sustainability, affordability, mobility, and economic opportunity.
Why this role?
Innovative digital tools present a big opportunity, but also raise important questions about data and privacy; especially when operating in the public realm. Sidewalk Labs takes these issues seriously, and we have recently put forward a comprehensive proposal for innovative, independent governance by a “Civic Data Trust” of information collected from the urban environment.
These issues are complicated. They are hotly debated yet often not well understood. We are looking for someone to help us set a new standard for responsible data use that protects personal privacy and the public interest while enabling companies, researchers, innovators, governments, and civic organizations to use data in service of improving urban life.
What is the role?
We are looking for a practically-minded digital governance, data and privacy expert to work with us to develop, advance, and implement our privacy and digital governance policies and practices for Sidewalk Toronto. You will work with the data governance team, and side-by-side with our General Counsel, as well as the policy, development, business, product and innovation teams to help them make their groundbreaking work become reality in ways that respect fundamental privacy rights and enable precedent-setting digital governance in connection with innovative urban development.
- Act as a representative for the unique Canadian perspective and needs with regards to privacy and digital governance, informing and infusing our work across disciplines.
- Translate those needs and reconcile them with the realities of our proposed project, as well as the objectives the project is seeking to achieve.
- Develop targeted, balanced, and implementable programs and processes that bring our proposed responsible data use regime to life, and will work well.
- Develop thoughtful and innovative strategies for privacy and digital governance, based on deep understanding the ethical, regulatory, commercial and technical realities of Urban Data and supporting Sidewalk Toronto’s approach to urban innovation.
- Work with our stakeholders, advisors and teams to develop comprehensive public policy positions on issues related to digital governance and privacy.
- Represent Sidewalk in public settings, work with stakeholders and policymakers, and provide thought leadership that advances the public discourse on privacy and digital governance. Assist with crafting and implementing an advocacy strategy.
- Think outside the box. We are trying to come up with new and better paradigms in every aspect of our work, and privacy and digital governance is no exception.
We believe the right individual would have…
- Deep, multi-faceted privacy expertise
- Have the expertise and creativity to create balanced yet useful approaches to privacy and digital governance of Urban Data.
- Have a deep understanding of relevant legislation and regulatory regimes relevant to the city of Toronto, Ontario and a private sector entity in Canada; beyond is a bonus.
- Ability to create a practical and useful program
- Practical experience implementing privacy-relevant programs, having to reconcile or balance opposing views, as well as learning the importance of details and pitfalls in bringing something to life.
- Understand the technology and business considerations of data usage in the 21st century (including having conducted substantive policy, legal and/or business work in leading-edge private technology sector, government, or academia).
- Ability to advance in a multi-stakeholder dialogue
- Have skill and experience to lead a complex, public discourse (e.g. with experience in a public-facing role).
- Familiarity and relationships with the relevant stakeholders to facilitate dialogue, from advocates, to regulators, public service, and the private sector.
- Be adept at explaining relevant issues and our positions in a clear, concise and persuasive manner.
- Be comfortable with debate and criticism. You will be at the center of debates, both internally and publicly, about these complicated and often controversial issues. The right candidate will embrace that aspect of the role.
We believe this role presents a unique opportunity to take the discourse on digital governance, data and privacy to the next level, balancing public and private interests in powerful way and through that shape a model with precedent-setting relevance. If this opportunity speaks to you, we would love to start a conversation.