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Sidewalk Labs says goodbye to Toronto

Sidewalk Labs, a subsidiary of Alphabet that had been working with Toronto officials to build the most innovative neighborhood in the world, officially abandoned the project this week. Talks nearly collapsed several times during the project's two-and-a-half years of work as the city and its developer disagreed on the size of the project and how data privacy should be managed. The economic stress of the coronavirus pandemic proved to be the final straw as Sidewalk Labs CEO Dan Doctoroff cited “unprecedented economic uncertainty” in his explanation for pulling the plug. Ryan Johnston reports.

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Oregon police data is not secure

An audit of the Oregon State Police's cybersecurity practices published this week revealed numerous shortcomings that its now being directed to rectify, including a failure to inventory the devices and software connected to its network. Oregon Secretary of State Bev Clarno, whose office conducted the investigation, said failures to adhere to cybersecurity controls recommended by the Center for Internet Security jeopardizes the confidentiality of Oregon’s criminal-justice data. "They should set an example for other agencies to follow when it comes to implementing basic security controls,” Clarno’s office said. Benjamin Freed has the full story.

State IT leaders see an opening

At the National Association of State Chief Information Officers' virtual conference this week, state CIOs said they view the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to advance the role of technology in their respective states. Agency heads who before the health crisis had been reluctant to pursue new developments in information technology have, under duress, come to accept their value, the CIOs said. “But now in an emergency situation they’re certainly more likely to be open to newer technology than they were before," Tennessee CIO Stephanie Dedmon said on Monday. "And certainly not to make any light of the situation we’re in but that’s in the category of not letting a good crisis go to waste.” Colin Wood has the details.

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