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Massachusetts plans to stop using facial recognition to verify identities

Massachusetts will no longer use facial recognition to verify identity for its Department of Unemployment Assistance, the agency announced Wednesday. The state had used ID.me, a popular identity verification service that’s come under scrutiny in recent weeks, but will follow the lead of the IRS, which earlier this month announced it would phase out its use of the software’s facial recognition component. Officials said the state adopted ID.me during the pandemic, when both real and fraudulent claims peaked, and that the facial recognition feature is no longer needed now that claims levels are returning to normal. Colin Wood has the details.

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.

City CIOs have a 'new brand' following their work during the pandemic

City CIOs across the country are taking on new responsibilities and new titles after being recognized for their work in boosting civic technology during the pandemic. Tech leaders in San Jose, California, and Orlando, Florida, and elsewhere have been promoted to positions like deputy city manager and deputy chief financial officer in recent months, elevating them to a "higher seat at the table" in city government, Orlando deputy CFO Rosa Akhtarkhavari said. Ryan Johnston has the story.

Data center modernization is moving along in Illinois, CIO says

Agency leaders in Illinois are already excited with the potential that a more modern data center holds in improving how they deliver services. The state's existing facility can't handle the needs of modern technology, Illinois CIO Jennifer Ricker said, though “there is a lot of foundational work that has to be done" in order to begin gleaning insights from state data. Colin has it.


The growing threat of ransomware as a business model for criminal activity

Sophos’ Chester Wisniewski shares that ransomware-as-a-service is a growing threat model that threatens governments’ ability to defend networks. He explains how leaders can stay ahead of security risks and the importance of adopting a zero-trust security framework, with strategies for deploying measures like multifactor authentication and stronger endpoint protections that tighten network access for users and potential intruders. Read more from Wisniewski. 

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