The Massachusetts state agency tasked with protecting children from child abuse and neglect is facing its own internal dilemma. Antiquated IT systems and paper-based processes are making it harder for caseworkers to properly investigate incoming reports and coordinate with police and other entities in a timely manner, writes Stephen Goldsmith, a former mayor of Indianapolis, and a professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School.
In his Boston Globe article, Goldsmith argues that better IT can save lives, but burdensome procurement cycles and IT requirements are major barriers to technology reform. "Dramatic change that saves lives is easily within reach, but we need leadership from agency heads and political backing from Beacon Hill to get us there."
More than a dozen states have passed laws banning employers from asking workers for login credentials to their personal email and social media accounts. Stateline reports that Maryland, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Wisconsin are among 17 states with so-called anti-snooping laws that protect both employees and potential hires.
The solar-powered benches, known as Soofas, are popping up in Boston's Titus Sparrow Park and the oldest park in the country, Boston Common, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.
In addition to charging electronic devices, the benches also “connect wirelessly to the Internet to upload local environmental data such as air quality and noise levels, as well as information on how much energy is being generated.” The startup’s co-founder and CEO says a number of cities have expressed interest in having Soofas.
It appears that way, according to a recent New York Times article. Reno, Nev., isn’t too far from major tech hubs in California, and the city does not have corporate or inventory taxes. These benefits could be appealing for new and growing companies looking for a place to call home.
While most people associate Reno with the gambling industry, the city is looking to shake that image. Reno is home to an Apple data center, cloud computing developers and is a testing ground for drones.
The city is using a $200,000 grant from the Argonne National Laborator to fund a pilot project that CIO Brenna Berman hopes will give researchers a better analytical understanding of the Windy City, Emergency Management reports.
Up to 30 sensors will be installed on light poles in the city’s downtown area this summer to collect environmental data, including weather and air quality measurements. Other cities, such as San Jose, Calif., are launching similiar projects. Researchers and the public will have real-time access to the data.
A growing number of state and local governments are turning their focus to apps that protect citizens' public health and safety, instead of only targeting tourism or recreation, reports USA Today.
The article highlights several apps, including the North Carolina Department of Public Safety’s ReadyNC app. The app has 26,000 users and provides the latest updates on travel and weather conditions in the state.
That’s what the California Supreme Court is going to figure out. The state court will consider “whether government workers must disclose email, text messages and other electronic communication about government matters on their personal smartphones or other private devices,” according to the San Jose Mercury News.
Starting July 1, companies must notify Florida’s Department of Legal Affairs of data security breaches that affect more than 500 people in the state. The Florida Information Protection Act of 2014 repeals the state's current data security breach law, reports Business Insurance.
Under the law, companies must also notify affected individuals “no later than 30 days after the determination of a breach or reason to believe a breach occurred.” But there are exceptions to the rule. Notification to affected individuals may be delayed if it would interfere with a criminal investigation. Companies aren’t required to notify people if it is determined that the breach has not, and likely will not, result in identity theft or cause financial harm.
Gov. Rick Scott signed into law a bill that establishes the Agency for State Technology and creates several IT positions, including an executive director who will oversee the agency and serve as Florida’s CIO. The governor signed the bill June 20, according to state documents.
The CIO will be appointed by the governor and confirmed by the senate. StateTech has reported that the legislation provides $4.8 million to launch the new agency.