Tech & Data

A City Looks at Wastewater for Clues in the Opioid Fight

Tempe, Arizona tests the waters to glean data about the spread of dangerous drugs.

The New Target That Enables Ransomware Hackers to Paralyze Dozens of Towns and Businesses at Once

Cybercriminals are zeroing in on the managed service providers that handle computer systems for local governments and medical clinics.

State Attorneys General Launch Google Antitrust Probe

The investigation of Google’s advertising practices is the latest to target tech companies.

Malfunctioning Voting Machines in Mississippi Spark Concerns

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Hurricane Dorian heads for Florida … New York police union issues vote of no confidence in mayor and police chief … North Carolina raises state worker salaries.

The Unsettling Rise of the Urban Narc App

It’s getting easier for city residents to use technology that can report bad drivers who block bike lanes. Welcome to the self-surveillance era of traffic safety.

Leveraging Technology to Clear Criminal Records

Cook County, Illinois, will automatically expunge low-level convictions for marijuana offenses using software from Code for America.

Does L.A.’s Scooter Data Program Violate State Privacy Laws?

As more cities adopt a controversial scooter tracking system pioneered by Los Angeles, concerns about rider data privacy are spreading.

This Uber Driver Started a Legal Battle That Could Upend the Gig Economy

Uber drivers in Europe and the U.S. are fighting for access to their personal data. Whoever wins the lawsuit could get to reframe the terms of the gig economy.

Phone Companies Make Pact with State Attorneys General to Combat Robocalls

As part of the agreement, 12 phone carriers pledged to implement call-blocking technology and to monitor their networks for illegal robocalls.

How 3-D Mapping Technology Could Improve Firefighter Safety

Memphis is experimenting with technology more frequently used for autonomous vehicles to create indoor maps of buildings for first responders.

Coordinated Ransomware Attack in Texas Seen as Escalation From Prior Hacks

Twenty-three local governments were attacked over the weekend. The willingness of city governments to pay ransoms may be emboldening opportunistic hackers, security experts warn.

Featured eBooks

People Are Starting to Realize How Voice Assistants Actually Work

The secrecy surrounding AI products makes even basic information about them a scandal.

Facial Recognition Software Incorrectly Flags 26 State Lawmakers as Criminals, ACLU Says

One California lawmaker said a recent test of Amazon's technology is proof that it should be kept from body-worn police cameras. The company says the testing method used by the ACLU wasn't fair.

How One City Saved $5 Million by Routing School Buses with an Algorithm

The Boston Public School District held a contest to determine the best solution for busing around 25,000 students to school every day. The winning algorithm improved the efficiency of the routes in 30 minutes.

How Libraries are Embracing Artificial Intelligence

A humanoid robot named Pepper helps teach coding at Roanoke County Public Libraries, one of many branches across the country embracing the emerging technology.

Future of Televised City Council and School Board Meetings Could Be in Doubt

An FCC order allows cable companies to deduct the value of services they provide to states and localities from the fees they pay, which local government officials say could jeopardize public access channels.

Ready or Not, Blockchain-Based Mobile Voting Is Getting Closer

Some voters in Provo and other Utah County cities will be able to cast ballots on a blockchain-powered mobile app in a pilot program for the August election.

States Back Off on New Data Privacy Laws

A lot of state legislators sought to follow California in imposing new regulations on consumer data privacy. In most states, they didn't make it that far.

Three Steps Governments Can Take to Guard Against Ransomware Attacks

A federal cybersecurity agency and state government associations issued guidance Monday on protecting city, county and state governments from the growing threat of a ransomware attack.

Watchdog Warns Census 'Short on Time' While Using Untested New Methods

The 2020 Census will for the first time allow respondents to answer surveys online, but the Census Bureau hasn’t been able to test to ensure all new innovative methods will function correctly when deployed, according to the Government Accountability Office.