The Commun Axiom software package is a digital platform for the indexing, transformation, exchange, and governance of data that can provide a better understanding of Montréal’s communities. It includes the following four applications:
- Profiles is an emerging function that includes the creation of a number of accounts, including “Organization” (one account for multiple users within the same entity), “User” (one account for an individual user) and “Group” (a combination of “Organization” and “User” accounts), to allow for collaboration and data sharing through other applications;
- Let’s Agree is designed to establish the prerequisites for sharing sensitive data in terms of anonymization and security. Once the transformations that are necessary prior to sharing a dataset have been defined, these conditions form a protocol to be digitally signed in order to make the exchange between the sending and receiving parties official;
- Commons lists the available datasets and gathers the secure tools required to transfer them between users. The data subject to an access request are automatically pre-processed according to the criteria set by the agreement protocol, and then sent using asymmetric end-to-end encryption that prevents third-party access. They are finally downloaded by the recipients and stored locally in an encrypted space;
- Ledger archives all data transactions made using blockchain technology. This makes it possible to record the uploading of datasets and the signing of agreements between users, while ensuring the traceability of the authors and current owners of the datasets.
Other legal and ethical needs arise to enable organizations to fulfill their social contracts by ensuring data traceability, by protecting intellectual property as well as privacy, by relying on the informed consent of the individuals or groups involved, and by formalizing sharing agreements. Lastly, there are technical requirements related to the implementation of security best practices, the processing and stowing of data of various kinds, and the capacity for cross-partner communication without exiting the platform.