The chief executive officer of Sidewalk Labs says data protection is “fundamental” to the Google-inspired digital city that’s being planned along Toronto’s eastern waterfront.

“I think what’s most important to recognize is that we understand that the careful management of data, the protection of people’s privacy, is fundamental to this place,” Dan Doctoroff told BNN Bloomberg in an interview Wednesday.  

“I believe what we will come back with – with the aid of our partners in government, with lots of privacy experts – is a new standard for responsible data use that I think other places around the world are going to follow.”  

Doctoroff added the company will offer more specifics as plans evolve over the course of the year.

Waterfront Toronto’s board approved the plan to build the high-tech neighbourhood with Sidewalk Labs, a sister company to Google’s parent Alphabet, late last month.

When the partnership was first announced in October, Doctoroff told BNN Bloomberg the company did not intend to harvest data for itself or for Google, but it was aiming to improve citizens’ quality of life.

Sidewalk Labs initially committed US$50 million to the planning phase of the project, and committed another US$40 million when Waterfront Toronto’s board voted in favour of the plan.