An expert panel on the challenges and opportunities of public sector cloud computing featured Seattle IT Chief Technology Officer Michael Mattmiller. The panel was part of the Amazon Web Services Public Sector Innovation Summit June 13 in Washington D.C. To seize the opportunity presented by data analytics and data-driven governing, cities need to be in the cloud, according to panelists. One key opportunity in cloud computing is maximizing value and resources. Major challenges include security and privacy.
“Privacy is one of the areas that has made transitioning to the cloud challenging,” Mattmiller said. “It goes back to ‘what’s the problem we’re trying to solve?’ This idea of creating a data store where we put all kinds of different data, that is where our public gets concerned and where, as government, we see potential issues.”
In Washington state – which Mattmiller says has ‘one of the most progressive public disclosure laws in the nation’ – Seattle has taken care of making sure that the ‘full picture’ of a citizen’s data is never housed in one place to ensure that privacy remains intact. In May, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray also supported the creation of a new statute called the Seattle IT rule, which requires private companies to obtain permission before selling personal information or browsing data.
In addition, to prepare the City for more migration to the cloud and other digital services going forward, Seattle has hired its first smart city coordinator who starts in late July. This position will work with City agencies and citizens to evangelize the value of smart cities and the work that can be done.