The use of digital infrastructure is one of many tools to help the City achieve its strategic goals and priorities. As the use of digital infrastructure to provide City services and manage assets evolves, how information is collected, used, managed and protected must also advance. The Digital Infrastructure Plan (DIP) will modernize and formalize the roles, functions and procedures within which digital infrastructure decisions at the City are made.
Digital Infrastructure is defined as infrastructure that creates, exchanges or uses data or information as a part of its operation. Digital infrastructure includes physical structures, cabling and network systems, software systems, data standards and protocols, as well as the data itself. Some examples include sensors (cameras, GPS sensors, microphones, etc.), broadband and telephone networks, Wi-Fi, desktop software, web pages and mobile apps and open data standards.
Digital infrastructure can help improve the quality of life of Torontonians in a variety of ways. Some examples include reducing the digital divide, as well as improving opportunities for participation, inclusion and wellbeing. However, any benefits must be weighed against potential harms that could arise through the reinforcement of existing – or creation of new – barriers (digital or physical). The DIP Working Principles provide guidance when deciding if a proposed use of digital infrastructure is:
Each Working Principle articulates a vision for the use of digital infrastructure in Toronto:
Digital infrastructure will be used to create and sustain equity, inclusion, accessibility and human rights in its operations and outcomes. Digital Infrastructure will be flexible, adaptable, interoperable and responsive to the needs of all Torontonians, including equity-seeking groups, Indigenous people, those with accessibility needs and vulnerable populations.
Digital infrastructure will enable high-quality, resilient and innovative public services, and support evidence-based decision-making.
Digital infrastructure will contribute to positive social, economic and environmental benefits by supporting the success of Toronto’s residents, businesses, academic institutions and community organizations.
Toronto’s digital infrastructure will operate in a way that protects the privacy of individuals in accordance with legislative requirements, and be safe from misuse, hacks, theft or breaches.
Decisions about digital infrastructure will be made democratically, in a way that is ethical, accountable, transparent and subject to oversight. Torontonians will be provided with understandable, timely and accurate information about the technologies in their city, and opportunities to shape the digital domain.
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