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Utah sees promise in connected vehicles

The Utah Department of Transportation recently wrapped up the first phase of a five-year deal with Panasonic to roll out connected vehicle technology on its roadways. Officials said things are going well, but budget concerns and questions about access to wireless spectrum could bar progress. "Ultimately for this to really be effective, every car on the road should have and needs to have this communications equipment," said Blaine Leonard, a transportation technology engineer who leads UDOT’s connected vehicle programs. See what Utah's up to.

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LA's contact tracing choice brings privacy alarms

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced this week the city will debut a new contact-tracing app developed by Citizen, a developer accused by some privacy advocates of “breeding paranoia." Garcetti, flanked by Citizen CEO Andrew Frame and several regional health officials, said at a press conference Wednesday that the city will integrate a mobile app called “SafePass” into its existing COVID-19 response, which has tested two million Angelenos so far this year. But the app's use of GPS, rather than the Bluetooth, along with the company's track record, has some worried. “This app collects A LOT of personal information," Angel Diaz, a lawyer at the Brennan Center for Justice wrote on Twitter after the announcement. Ryan Johnston breaks it down.

Portland bans facial recognition

Portland, Oregon, became the first city in the U.S. on Wednesday to ban both public and private sector organizations from using facial recognition in the city. The ban, which was initially proposed last November by City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, passes at a time when Portland residents have held daily protests for months against police brutality and injustices in the criminal justice system. We will not let Portland turn into a surveillance state where police and corporations alike can track us wherever we go,” said Jann Carson, interim executive director of the ACLU of Oregon. Ryan has details.

Ron Guerrier heads to HP

Former Illinois Chief Information Officer Ron Guerrier announced this week he's joining Hewlett-Packard as the computing giant’s global chief information officer. The move to marks a return to the corporate sector after about 20 months with the State of Illinois. Before his March 2019 appointment by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Guerrier spent nearly 20 years in IT roles with several Fortune 500 firms. "When an iconic technology company — that literally seeded Silicon Valley and is synonymous with innovation — asked me join as their Global Chief Information Officer it was a no brainer,” he wrote in a LinkedIn post explaining the move. Benjamin Freed has more.

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