Where Government Leads: Designing For User Choice

Julie Anderson by Julie Anderson, Civitas Group
Wednesday, October 15, 2014

When used to benefit the individual, "choice architecture" helps citizens make better choices. It means thinking hard about software defaults. Rarely is government far ahead of the technology sector in cutting-edge policies designed to produce better results. Surprisingly enough, that is exactly what is happening with techniques that empower citizens to make optimal decisions related to economics, resource allocation, and privacy.

With Big Data Comes Big Responsibility

Scott Berinato, Harvard Business Review,  Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Big data and the “internet of things”—in which everyday objects can send and receive data—promise revolutionary change to management and society. But their success rests on an assumption: that all the data being generated by internet companies and devices scattered across the planet belongs to the organizations collecting it. What if it doesn’t? Alex “Sandy” Pentland, the Toshiba Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at MIT, suggests that companies don’t own the data, and that without rules defining who does, consumers will revolt, regulators will swoop down, and the internet of things will fail to reach its potential.

Agencies should pursue cloud for performance, not cost benefits, says report

Molly Bernhart Walker, FierceGovernmentIT,  Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cloud computing technology is ready for the enterprise, but most agencies are not prepared at a policy level to most efficiently implement it, according to a whitepaper (pdf) published Oct. 10 by the MITRE Corporation and the Advanced Technology Academic Research Center. As a result, agencies adopting the cloud may not realize cost savings but they can realize performance improvements, such as enhanced capabilities and features, say report authors. "An organizational, business, and cultural change needs to occur to enable cloud computing to be readily adopted," says the whitepaper, which summarizes presentations and discussions that took place at the July 2014 Federal Cloud Computing Summit. The report synthesizes governmentwide challenges and best practices around cloud computing.

Federal Agencies Push Cloud Migration Boulder Uphill

John K. Higgins, E-Commerce Times,  Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The benefits cloud offers are immense, but with the introduction of new hybrid cloud architectures, data stewardship becomes even more complex, as data must be managed and accessed across any cloud," said NetApp exec Kirk Kern. "Federal agencies must establish enterprise-wide governance practices, while deploying solutions that streamline data mobility and stewardship across cloud models. Agencies that have done a good job in governance programs are much more disposed to implementing cloud programs than those lacking sufficient data management controls, the survey found.

The public cloud just got a new poster child

Matt Asay, Tech Republic,  Wednesday, October 15, 2014

In a surprisingly candid and punchy interview with InfoWorld, Chris Drumgoole, GE's chief operations officer of Information Technology, dissed private clouds as merely "well-orchestrated virtualization" and declared GE will reduce its data center assets by 90% in favor of the public cloud. Is GE the new poster child for the public cloud? Which brings us to GE, the multinational firm founded in 1878. For GE to use public cloud resources isn't all that ground-breaking. After all, whether it has known it or not, its developers have almost certainly been using the cloud to route around IT for years. But to commit to the public cloud without reservation? That's big.

Guidelines aim to prevent overloading of mobile networks

Stephanie Kanowitz, FierceGovernmentIT,  Wednesday, October 15, 2014

As applications and devices associated with the "Internet of Things" grow, they threaten to overload mobile networks. New guidelines offer methods to make sure that doesn't happen. The "IoT Device Connection Efficiency Guidelines" from the GSM Association, a London-based group representing mobile operators worldwide, aim to help mobile network operators deal with the deployment of inefficient, insecure or defective IoT devices on their networks.

Why U.S. cloud companies and the economy are under threat

Gary Shapiro, The Hill,  Tuesday, October 14, 2014

In the wake of the National Security Agency (NSA) leaks, Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission said, “If European cloud customers cannot trust the U.S. government, then maybe they won't trust U.S. cloud providers either. If I am right, there are multibillion-euro consequences for American companies.” Unfortunately, she is right – and American companies are now enduring the backlash in the form of “data localization.” In fact, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) met last week with Silicon Valley tech companies to discuss the problem.

Measuring The Digital Economy

Graham Scott, Global Government Forum,  Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A new report gives a fully researched insight into how nations within the OECD are using and benefitting from – our losing out to – the digital economy. Measuring the Digital Economy: A New Perspective shows how governments can better engage with their citizens through the medium of online communication. The report will be published in November.

US Government Faces Cybersecurity Risk Due to Faulty Cloud Contracts

Cheryl Kemp, The Whir,  Monday, October 13, 2014

Federal agencies are putting sensitive data at risk according to a report released to the public on Thursday from the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency’s (CIGIE) IT Committee. The report selected 77 commercial cloud contracts for review after 19 Offices of Inspector General (OIGs) shared testing results. Based on OIG reports there were 348 commercial cloud contracts with a value of about $12 billion dollars.

Ex-Homeland Lawyer Forecasts Data Privacy's Future

Sue Reisinger, Corporate Counsel,  Monday, October 13, 2014

Lawyer Mary Ellen Callahan, once the chief privacy officer of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, sees three key areas where she expects privacy concerns to grow—in education, among government contractors and with devices connected to the Internet. Callahan, founder and chairwoman of Jenner & Block’s privacy and information governance practice, discussed cybersecurity and privacy issues facing corporations and their general counsel in a recent interview with The Washington Post.