Data Is Improving Government Services, But at What Cost to Citizens' Privacy?

Data now informs almost everything the public sector does, and it also informs on us.

by , , / May 17, 2018

For many policymakers, troves of data can seem impenetrable. It can be hard to parse through the gathered information and even harder to apply that information to policy. Many cities, however, are getting better at using data to fix problems and improve the lives of people in their communities.

But at what cost?

On this episode of "Go Public," recorded live from the Summit on Government Performance and Innovation earlier this month in Los Angeles, Governing's Zach Patton and J.B. Wogan talk about where data is being used well, where it shows promise in our civic life, and the privacy risks in its use.

The conference, hosted by Governing and Living Cities, convened more than 650 city government leaders and employees to discuss the promise and pitfalls of using data to develop policy, deliver services and monitor governments' performance -- all in a fair and equitable way.

Listen below and subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher. 



On this episode:

Paul W. Taylor Editor

Paul W. Taylor, Ph.D., is the editor of Governing. He also serves as the chief content officer of e.Republic, Governing’s parent organization, as well as senior advisor to the Governing Institute. Prior to joining e.Republic, Taylor served as deputy Washington state CIO and chief of staff of the state Information Services Board (ISB). Dr. Taylor came to public service following decades of work in media, Internet start-ups and academia. He is also among a number of affiliated experts with the non-profit, non-partisan Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) in Washington, D.C.

J.B. Wogan Staff Writer

J.B. Wogan -- Staff Writer. J.B. covers public programs aimed at addressing poverty and writes the monthly human services newsletter. He has also written for PolitiFact, The Seattle Times and Seattle magazine. He is the co-author of Peak Performance: How Denver's Peak Academy is saving millions of dollars, boosting morale and just maybe changing the world. (And how you can too!)

In 2010, the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association named him "News Writer of the Year" for his work at The Sammamish Review, a community weekly east of Seattle. J.B. is a graduate of Pomona College and has a master's in public policy from Johns Hopkins University. 

Zach Patton Executive Editor

Zach Patton -- Executive Editor. Zach joined GOVERNING as a staff writer in 2004. He received the 2011 Jesse H. Neal Award for Outstanding Journalism for his GOVERNING story on economic cutbacks in Colorado Springs. He has served as an editor since 2010, and as Executive Editor since 2012.

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