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A special report on user experience

For a long time, the job of state and local technology leaders has simply been to keep things running smoothly. But the legacy of putting functionality ahead of design is fading as everyone comes to expect government to offer the same intuitive and simple designs they see everywhere else on the internet. It’s no longer enough to be online, and government technology leaders know it. To better understand this trend, StateScoop and EdScoop have put together a series of articles, <a href="https://preprod.statescoop.com/podcast/ux-user-experience-great-starts-with-understanding-customers-colorado-cio/">podcasts</a> and <a href="https://preprod.statescoop.com/video/ux-user-experience-cios-emphasize-unification-simplicity-in/">videos</a> on user experience and digital government, including looks at Code for America's future, the accessibility of digitized legal codes, the resurgence of data breaches connected to online-payments platform Click2Gov and a <a href="https://preprod.statescoop.com/ux-user-experience-colorado-digital-service/">new agency in Colorado</a> modeled after the success of the White House's U.S. Digital Service. Check out the full report.

A Message From AWS Educate

With over 1,500 institutions and hundreds of thousands of students who use AWS Educate, we wanted to take you on a trip around the world and highlight how students are learning and innovating with the cloud. Learn more.

Code for America, 10 years on

Code for America is preparing to enter its second decade without the daily presence of its founder, Jennifer Pahlka, who's planning to move on from the civic-tech nonprofit she created in 2010. Over the past 10 years, the organization has grown to 25,000 fellows and volunteers spread across the country, including 85 organized "brigades" that tackle cities' digital-service needs. Pahlka told StateScoop she isn’t worried about Code for America's ability to continue improving how state and local governments use technology in her absence. Her hope, rather, is that governments will learn to do the work without the group's help. Ryan Johnston reports.

Click2Gov data breaches are back

Over 2017 and 2018, dozens of small and midsize cities across the United States had to tell their residents that their personal data had potentially been included in data breaches linked to Click2Gov, a popular platform that many local governments use to process online payments for things like utilities, parking tickets and other fees that cities collect. The rash of breaches appeared to have subsided after local governments using Click2Gov — a number that was estimated to be as high as 6,000 — installed security patches. But since last August, there's been a resurgence of incidents, prompting cities to abandon Click2Gov for software with better track records as they seek to reassure their spooked residents. “Public trust is critical to us," said Stephanie Betteridge, the chief innovation officer in Bend, Oregon, which issued a breach notification last month. "And we want to do everything to protect our customers.” Benjamin Freed reports.

Your favorite law librarian's favorite law librarian

Behind the Open Law Library, a project to publish municipal code online more accurately and conveniently for governments than ever before, stands its founder, David Greisen. Since testing his platform with two new municipalities, Greisen is on a mission to take on new customers and ensure the world's laws are not lost. He’s determined, he said, to strengthen the rule of law and preserve legal documents that many lawyers and law librarians today worry are blinking out of practical existence as old websites are revamped, digital content moved and hyperlinks broken. The project is still small, but in the process, Greisen might've become your favorite law librarian's favorite law librarian.   Colin Wood has more.

California cops aren't protecting license plate data well

The audit into police use of automated license plate readers that California lawmakers requested last summer was published last week, and the findings were not particularly favorable to law enforcement. Four departments, including the Los Angeles Police Department, have insufficient security and privacy safeguards in place to protect data collected by automated license plate readers, according to the report from California State Auditor Elaine Howle. But these issues probably aren't limited to California, said Dave Maass, a senior researcher with the Electronic Frontier Foundation whose past work partly inspired lawmakers to request the audit. “Every state should take a look at this audit and decide whether they should start reforming [ALPR policies] themselves or whether they need to order their own audit," he said. Ryan has the story.

Baltimore promotes interim CIO to full-time role

Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young announced Thursday that Todd Carter, who’s been serving as the city’s interim chief information officer since last October, will take over the role permanently, as the municipal government continues to pull through the effects of a widespread ransomware attack last year. Carter took over day-to-day CIO duties following the dismissal of former CIO Frank Johnson, who some officials said bungled the response to the May 7 cyberattack, the recovery from which has cost the city $18 million. Carter, incidentally, had started as Baltimore's deputy CIO on the same day as the ransomware attack. Ben has more.

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