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07/19/2021
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WorkScoop

Space, eh?

Nevada CIO Alan Cunningham and Alaska CIO Bill Smith said during a virtual event last week that among the technologies that excite them most is low-Earth-orbit satellite internet service being developed by the likes of SpaceX, the Elon Musk-led company that plans to blanket the sky with more than 30,000 satellites offering high-speed internet signals. “What’s really exciting to me about that is not necessarily the LEO technology, but the fact we’ve got companies that are putting satellites over the northern latitudes and over Alaska,” Smith said. Colin Wood had the story.


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Ohio joins the privacy charge

Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted told StateScoop last week that a new consumer data-privacy bill he's backing in the state legislature represents a comfortable “middle ground” amid the field of existing state privacy laws. Like those passed elsewhere, most recently Colorado, Ohio's bill sets out to establish a set of consumer rights, such as asking companies what personal data they’ve collected, requesting alterations or deletions of that data and complaining to the attorney general when they believe that data's been misused. But it excludes the private right of action, which would give individual Ohioans the ability to sue companies. “We think it’s both consumer- and business-friendly,” Husted said. “For now, there’s nothing, so every bit you do for the consumer is a lot better than what they have at present." Read more about the new bill.


NYPD taken to court over facial recognition

Two watchdog groups sued the New York Police Department over the agency’s refusal to disclose public records about its acquisition of facial recognition technology and other surveillance tools, CyberScoop's Tonya Riley reports. The lawsuit, filed by Amnesty International and Surveillance Technology Oversight Project, could force the NYPD to hand over records that will shed light on the depth of its surveillance capabilities. According to the groups, the NYPD records have the potential to shed light on the number of arrests carried out based on facial recognition technology during protests that roiled New York last year, how much money police spent on the technologies, and how widely the tech has been deployed. Read more on CyberScoop.


How counties can close the divide

A report published last Wednesday by the National Association of Counties reinforced local officials’ beliefs that the COVID-19 pandemic only made broadband access more crucial for the unconnected, but that there are still more steps counties can take to close the digital divide. The pandemic made broadband access a requirement to participate in work, education and, in many cases, health care, boosting “what was already a shift to an almost fully digital world,” according to Craig Rice, a council member in Montgomery County, Maryland, who sits a NACo broadband task force created last October to address the biggest obstacles to internet access. Ryan Johnston has more.


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