Daniel Castro1

Daniel Castro

Contributing Writer

Daniel Castro is the vice president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) and director of the Center for Data Innovation. Before joining ITIF, he worked at the Government Accountability Office where he audited IT security and management controls.

When the rush for unemployment insurance crashed government websites in 2020, we learned how to navigate traffic surges in a crisis. So why weren’t sites prepared to handle vaccine appointments?
The use of robots from companies like Starship Technologies for last-mile deliveries skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and legislators would do well to make them easier to deploy on city sidewalks.
Data from marginalized communities is often underreported, meaning their needs are hidden from policymakers. President Biden’s initial actions on equitable data pave a path for state and local governments to follow.
With future elections likely to divide along stark partisan lines, and election security in question, end-to-end verifiability can let voters know that their ballots have been received and not tampered with.
Work from home was at first a temporary pandemic solution, but as public and private organizations alike make remote work permanent, they’ll need to make adjustments to more than just where staff are located.
From enabling digital paper forms and mobile payments to implementing facial recognition and delivery drones, touchless government services are the way forward in continuing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
As schools embark on a year of virtual or hybrid learning, hackers are seeking to exploit weaknesses in systems largely unprepared to fend off attacks. States must take the lead by updating technology and training users.
As the demands of remote government work extend from weeks to months, public-sector agencies must begin exploring tools like augmented and virtual reality for improved communication and collaboration.
The COVID-19 pandemic overwhelmed many state unemployment insurance websites. While some fared better than others, all governments can take advantage of things like cloud technology to prepare for the next storm.
A city’s walkability contributes to improved health outcomes for residents, lower crime rates and increased civic engagement. Governments can use data and artificial intelligence to improve their streets for pedestrians.
Cyberattacks are on the rise at all levels of government, but many small jurisdictions do not have the resources to protect themselves. Their vulnerability affects states and the federal government, who must pitch in.
Bad actors are increasingly using artificial intelligence to manipulate images to misrepresent their subjects. As states work to legislate deepfake technologies, perhaps a federal approach would be better.
New technologies are poised to automate everything from infrastructure to traditionally human jobs, and some fear a coming robot takeover. But the real problem is it isn't happening fast enough.
As technologies like the Internet of Things, virtual reality and augmented reality mature, city planners can build virtual replicas of urban infrastructure to better respond to local energy and environmental changes.
Ransomware attacks are on the rise across the country — 22 U.S. cities were hit in the first half of 2019. Some governments pay and some don’t, but to benefit everyone and stop the growing epidemic, no one should.
GDPR has been in effect in the EU for one year, and regulators, consumers and businesses are facing its unintended consequences. Other countries can take those outcomes and do better with their own data protections.
Some state and local governments are moving to ban increasingly popular cashless retail stores, citing equity issues, but there are steps policymakers can take to increase access to non-cash payment options.
Proposed public-sector bans of facial recognition are often based on inaccurate misconceptions, and following through on them would harm law enforcement, school safety and technological progress.
As scooters from companies like Bird and Lime become regular fixtures in U.S. cities, local governments should adopt regulatory sandboxes to determine how to best handle the new technology rather than ban it altogether.
As cities work to install connected devices and sensors throughout their communities, 5G wireless infrastructure will be essential to making it all go. What may stand in the way is government itself.
As artificial intelligence gains ground, countries are setting national strategies to promote the technology’s adoption. Local governments may not have those same resources, but they can make AI more accessible.
To be equitable for all citizens, governments must make sure their websites are accessible to people of all abilities.
For your safety online, your state should implement DNSSEC if it hasn't already (and it likely hasn't).
Amid persistent shortages in cybersecurity positions, what can states do to strengthen their numbers?
Putting algorithms in charge of redistricting could fix gerrymandering.
How government can use technology to make it cheaper to buy and sell your home.
Following major data breaches, states must revisit their policies and protect citizens.
As more and more data government data becomes available, states struggle to hire the right professionals to make sense of it.
Networks of smart cities will help make the most of data-driven governing.
Many state and local governments prohibit employees from using shared services like Airbnb for official travel, even though it often means they end up paying more.