Join Us For Seattle Speaks: “Privacy Politics”

In our open data, cloud computing world, privacy is a key issue that continually needs to be addressed. The City of Seattle recently adopted its own set of Privacy Principles to keep our citizens informed and protected and to provide transparency.  Our department-specific  Privacy Tool Kits will be implemented in the coming months.

Seattle is taking the lead on privacy issues, but as technology changes, so will privacy initiatives.   With that in mind, the next topic for Seattle City Club’s Seattle Speaks series is “Privacy Politics.”

Bruce Harrell, Seattle City Council Member & Chair of the Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee
Bruce Harrell, Seattle City Council Member & Chair of the Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee

Join Councilmember Bruce Harrell, Seattle CTO Michael Mattmiller, Seattle PD COO Mike Wagers and others as they offer insight on topics like:  Are we losing control of our digital privacy?  Does releasing certain government-held information harm or help the public?

 Seattle Speaks is Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at Town Hall. You can even submit questions right now on the registration page.  Doors open at 6 pm. Because this event is televised live, audience members are asked to take their seats by 6:30 pm for the 7 pm program.

The Emmy-award winning Seattle Speaks series is presented in partnership with Seattle CityClubSeattle Channel and Town Hall.

 

Don’t Throw Your Electronics Away! e-Cycle Them!

Recycling is easy: paper, plastic, compost. You also take your old clothes or furniture to your favorite charitable thrift shop. But what about your old computers, monitors, or other old technology? Now you can safely recycle your outdated electronics. Interconnection.org will e-cycle anything with a cord.eCycle-Event-Banner

Bring your laptops, desktops, mobile device, monitors, printers, mice, keyboards, cables, anything with a cord to CenturyLink Field on Saturday, April 11th to the North Parking Lot from 10am to 2pm.

 

 

Business broadband survey

UPDATE: The date has been extended! The new deadline is March 31.

The City of Seattle is looking for broadband input from Seattle businesses.

TakeOurSurvey This survey asks about your current broadband services and whether they meet your needs; your satisfaction with the services that are currently available to business owners in Seattle; and what you believe the City’s role should be in bringing high-speed connectivity to residents and businesses in Seattle. The survey should take approximately 10 minutes to complete. The survey will close on March 31.

A residential internet, cable TV and telephone services paper survey was mailed to 3,770 households in January. Results from the residential and business surveys will be compiled and included in the City’s Broadband study, set to be completed in April.

Questions?

If you have any questions please contact the City of Seattle’s Office of Cable Communications at 206-684-8498.

 

Mayor, officials weigh in on historic FCC votes

Today, after the FCC voted in favor of net neutrality and municipal broadband choices, Mayor Ed Murray, Councilmember Bruce Harrell and Chief Technology Officer Michael Mattmiller issued the following statements:

“I applaud the FCC for passing the strongest net neutrality rules in Internet history, a vital decision for not only entrepreneurs, but for the future of our democracy,” Mayor Ed Murray said. “High-quality, high-speed Internet is essential to an open society and I thank the FCC for allowing municipalities to make local choices about how to increase competition for high-speed Internet that is appropriate for their cities.”

“This is a historic moment in preserving and protecting our right to a fast, inclusive and open Internet,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology Committee. “The Internet is now a necessity, giving everyone a voice, access to education, and opportunity in our economy. Today’s ruling ensures a tech startup or a small business are able to compete on equal footing with larger companies by prohibiting paid prioritization and throttling of content and services.”

Although the decision of the FCC directly affects Tennessee and North Carolina, it sends a resounding message nationally that local choice is vital for next-generation Internet adoption. Local government knows the needs of our residents and businesses best and local officials are directly accountable to their constituents, which is why this decision is so important. It’s critical for communities to have the ability to choose the best way to provide high-quality Internet for its public,” said Michael Mattmiller, Seattle’s Chief Technology Officer. “Competition benefits all members in a community and similar to any other market, high-speed broadband Internet is frequently better and cheaper when communities have choices about how that Internet service is provided. The City of Seattle commissioned a study in November to explore creation of a municipal broadband internet utility in Seattle. We look forward to receiving the results of this study in April.”

Reshaping immigration, embracing technology in government at Civic Cocktail, Dec. 3

Rich Stolz of OneAmerica and tech executive Kurt DelBene among featured guests

SEATTLE –President Obama’s executive action to reform the nation’s immigration system and a discussion about the intersection of government and technology are the topics of conversation at Civic Cocktail, 5:30 p.m., Wed., Dec. 3, at the Palace Ballroom, 2100 Fifth Ave.

Obama’s plans to offer deportation relief and work permits to 5 million immigrants who are in the country illegally has set up a clash with Republicans who vow to fight his sweeping actions.

Washington state is home to an estimated 73,000 undocumented immigrants who are living in the country illegally and have a U.S. citizen child, according to OneAmerica, a Seattle-based immigrant rights advocacy organization.

Rich Stolz, executive director of OneAmerica, will join host Joni Balter for an in-depth discussion about the president’s immigration policy changes. How will the immigration orders be carried out locally and what impacts will they have? Will they lead to comprehensive immigration reform or will the projected political fallout further derail the debate?

The second half of the show will shift to a panel conversation on using technology to improve government’s interaction with the public. What happens when government and technology collide? Can government maintain the public trust while embracing new technologies to use data more effectively?

The panel discussion will feature Kurt DelBene, former manager of HealthCare.gov, and Michael Mattmiller, the city of Seattle’s new chief technology officer. DelBene is a former Microsoft executive who last year was tapped by the Obama Administration to help fix HealthCare.gov, the federal government’s online health insurance enrollment system. He recently joined the Seattle-based Madrona Venture Group, which focuses on funding early-stage technology companies primarily in the Northwest.

Mattmiller, who previously worked as a senior strategist for enterprise cloud privacy at Microsoft, leads the city of Seattle’s Department of Information and Technology. He’s heading the city’s new privacy initiative intended to show the public how the city collects and uses data.

A journalist panel will weigh in on the immigration and technology topics.

Civic Cocktail offers an evening of networking, civic conversation, Tom Douglas appetizers and a no-host bar. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. The program begins at 6 p.m. Advance registration is recommended as these events sometimes sell out. Register at SeattleCityClub.org or call 206-682-7395. Advance ticket prices are $10 for CityClub and Crosscut members and $12 for non-members. Limited $15 tickets available at the door.

Seattle Channel presents Civic Cocktail in partnership with Seattle CityClub and Crosscut. The conversation is rebroadcast on Seattle Channel cable 21 and is available online at seattlechannel.org/civiccocktail.

Seattle Channel is a local TV station that reflects, informs and inspires the community it serves. Seattle Channel presents programs on cable television – channel 21 on Comcast (321 HD) and Wave (721 HD) – and via the Internet to help residents connect with their city. Programming includes series and special features highlighting the diverse civic and cultural landscape of the Pacific Northwest’s premier city.

Get Online Seattle provides online job resources & tools

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NEWS RELEASE

Get Online Seattle provides online job resources and tools

SEATTLE (July 17, 2014) The City of Seattle has launched Get Online: Jobs & the Internet, an online toolbox for residents who are new to job searching on the web. The Seattle.gov/getonline web site and print materials provide information to help understand and manage your online presence, use the right tools for your job search, and tips for making job connections both on and offline.

Get Online Seattle education materials also promote options for affordable home Internet and locations with free access to computers and the Internet.

“Using the Internet is critical to finding and applying for jobs,” says Michael Mattmiller, Acting Chief Technology Officer for the City of Seattle. “This campaign is part of our effort to advance digital equity – ensuring all Seattleites have access to and proficiency using internet-based technologies.”

Jobs & the Internet is the second topic of the ongoing Get Online Seattle campaign to provide residents with the necessary skills to navigate the Internet, find content relevant to their needs, and access affordable Internet. The first topic focused on health resources, including what to look for in a reputable health site and what sites to avoid. The next Get Online Seattle campaign, to be launched in October, will focus on learning and education resources.

Visit www.seattle.gov/getonline for more information about the jobs campaign, resources and tips for use. Posters and leaflets are also available via the web site or by calling 206-233-7877.

The Get Online Seattle: Jobs & the Internet campaign is run by the City of Seattle’s Community Technology Program in partnership with the City’s Citizens Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board, Seattle Public Library, Seattle Goodwill, and YWCA Works.

The City of Seattle’s Department of Information Technology’s Community Technology Program works to ensure all residents have the opportunity to access online city services and get online for civic and cultural participation, education, and employment. For more information, visit http://www.seattle.gov/tech/.

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Contact Vicky Yuki at vicky.yuki@seattle.gov or 206-233-7877 for more information

Report highlights how Seattleites use technology

SEATTLE 5/23 - At a launch event last night, the City of Seattle released new findings on technology access, adoption and interaction by Seattle residents. These findings are based on feedback from 2,600 residents via online and phone surveys and in-person focus groups in multiple languages about their use, concerns, and barriers to using the Internet, social media, cable TV and online government services.

“This data shows that we’re making great strides in technology, but a digital gap still exists between our neighbors,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “We’re already using the data in this report to influence how the City of Seattle interacts with our neighbors and to better target our outreach and engagement strategies.”

Every four years the City of Seattle conducts community research to find out how Seattle residents are using technology.The technology adoption study findings were detailed at the interactive launch event, and are available online at www.seattle.gov/tech/indicators. The summary of findings and recommendations are available in multiple languages.

“The continued rise of smart phone and tablet use provides outstanding opportunities for government to reach more residents,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee. “The information from the focus groups will help us improve services and how we reach all communities. We will take action on improving access to web services by making them available in multiple languages.”

Since 2000, the City’s Community Technology Program has been collecting extensive and statistically valid data on residential use of cable TV, broadband adoption and uses (including health, work, education, finance and civic engagement), barriers to broadband adoption, use of online city services, and customer service needs. The measures used were based on goals for a technology-healthy city developed in collaboration with the City’s volunteer Technology Advisory Board.

Nine focus groups were also conducted to help understand the needs of communities who are often under-represented in the online and phone surveys or may be technologically-underserved.

Findings of the report include:

  • The report finds that 85 percent of Seattle residents have Internet at home and that more residents now own laptops than desktop computers.
  • Since 2009, Seattle has seen mobile phone ownership grow by 11 percent (80 to 89 percent), and has seen a 66 percent growth in the number of residents with smart phones (35 to 58 percent).
  • Broadband and cable TV prices continue to be of concern, but increasing broadband speed is important to those surveyed, with high interest in using higher bandwidth applications.
  • Cable subscribership has dropped 13 percent in the past four years as options for viewing video over the internet have grown.
  • Lower income residents have lower-speed broadband service, though a broad cross section of Seattle residents are interested in using higher speed internet services for activities like medical appointments or taking classes.
  • The study funds that there is still a significant gap in access to internet and the skills to use it, though the digital equity gap is more focused in skills and uses of the internet than on basic access.
  • Email was noted as the preferred way for residents to give their opinion to a community group or the City.
  • Education and age are the most significant factors differentiating technology access and adoption, but the data also shows important differences based on the income, ethnicity, and abilities of those surveyed.
  • The research also found that those with less education tend to make less use of the internet than users with more education.

For more information, visit www.seattle.gov/tech/indicators or contact communitytechnology@seattle.gov or 206-386-9759.

Low-cost Internet options, Comcast special until 3/18

Seattle was recently named 1 of 15 “Gold Medal” communities nationwide by Comcast. As a result, they’re offering six months of free Internet service through their Internet Essentials program, for eligible households who apply and are approved for their $10/month program by March 18, 2014, next Tuesday.  Their low-income discount is for families with students who qualify for free or reduced lunch.

Comcast is one of several companies in Seattle who offer Internet for low-income residents for around $10/month. They all have income and other eligibility guidelines for the discounted service.  The City of Seattle has more information about these programs and Solid Ground’s program to help residents with the choices on their community technology low cost Internet page.

CenturyLink Internet Basics (866) 541-3330

  • Eligible if on most public assistance programs (broader than Comcast)
  • Internet wired to your home via phone line
  • Laptop purchase available for $150
  • Not eligible if you have existing CenturyLink Internet service
  • Internet safety and education materials offered

Comcast’s Internet Essentials Program (855) 846-8376

  • Must have a child eligible for free or reduced lunch
  • Cable Internet wired to your home
  • Laptop purchase available for $150
  • Not eligible if you have existing Comcast Internet service
  • Internet safety and education materials offered

Interconnection/Mobile Citizen (Clear) (206) 633-1517

  • Offers Clear mobile Internet for $8 per month with laptop purchase or about $10 per month without laptop purchase
  • Eligible if on most public assistance programs
  • Refurbished  laptops with a full range of software for $99
  • They have a store in Seattle offering products and assistance

Looking for a computer to use or for computer training? Visit our Free Access to Computers and the Internet page for locations and hours of public access computer centers.

UPDATED: Critical Vulnerability in Apple iOS and OS X

UPDATED: 03/04/14

A patch for  Macs [OS X] has now been released by Apple.  Follow the instructions below to update your system.

Apple revealed a major vulnerability in its software that affects its devices, allowing hackers to intercept and alter communications such as email and login credentials.  Apple released a patch for iOS on Friday.  The vulnerability has been confirmed in iOS versions 6.1.5, 7.0.4, and 7.0.5, and OS X 10.9.0 and 10.9.1. Security researchers haven’t ruled out the possibility that earlier versions are also affected. Users should immediately update their iPhones and iPads to versions 7.0.6 or 6.1.6, preferably using a non-public network.

To patch your device(s):

  • Run “Software Update“ from your device’s “settings” menu   – OR -
  • Connect your device to your personal computer, open iTunes, select the device you just connected, and click the “Check for update” button.

For more details, see these articles:

http://arstechnica.com/security/2014/02/extremely-critical-crypto-flaw-in-ios-may-also-affect-fully-patched-macs/

http://web.nvd.nist.gov/view/vuln/detail?vulnId=CVE-2014-1266&cid=2