IMFG Paper on Municipalities and ‘Digital Dilemmas’

The Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance (IMFG) has recently released: Digital Dilemmas: Technology, Governance and Canadian Municipalities, by Zachary Spicer. The paper explores the challenges and opportunities emerging from new digital platforms.

During the winter and spring of 2022, IMFG convened a series of three panels focusing on the platform economy, smart city technology and cyberattacks. This paper summarizes the findings from these panel discussions and relevant literature, providing direction for municipal leaders.

The key policy issues explored are:

  1. The platform economy is disproportionately a municipal issue, but local governments lack access to data.
  2. Data governance – who owns and controls the data – is key, especially with the importance of data to commercial applications stemming from smart cities and the need to satisfy national and international privacy regimes.
  3. Cybersecurity is of utmost concern as local governments accelerate digital transformations to keep pace with the changing expectations of citizens.

The full paper and the one-page summary are available here: Digital Dilemmas: Technology, Governance, and Canadian Municipalities