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Montréal’s principles for protecting human rights in the digital age

Since joining the Cities Coalition for Digital Rights in 2020, Montréal has been spearheading digital transformation within the global network of metropolises. As the digital transformation accelerates, data plays a key role in cities’ ability to meet the many challenges they face. Although data use is creating opportunities for Montréal to improve its service delivery and decision-making processes, it also raises several ethical issues to which we must find solutions.

This is why Montréal adopted a Digital Data Charter. Composed of 13 principles divided into three key commitments, this Charter intends to be a governance framework that establishes ethical criteria for the collection, management and use of data by the city’s departments and boroughs. The City also invites all stakeholders involved in the city’s economic, social and territorial development to follow these principles and commitments, which provide opportunities to strengthen relationships with the entire Montréal community.

The principles put forward in the Charter strengthen ethical and responsible data management in several city projects, including the City's Open Data Program, the Smart Cities Challenge project (Montréal en commun), the Automated electric shuttles testsMTL-WiFi, and the 5G urban pilot project. The Charter principles are also aligned with the City’s strategic plan (Montréal 2030), built around a vision of the future that aims to make Montréal a greener, fairer and more inclusive city.

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