Facing the Future of Biometrics

With many of us using our faces to "open" our phones, biometric technology has become an everyday consumer technology. Capitalizing on the comfort and ease of use of facial recognition, government agencies are looking to incorporate it (and other biometric methods) into their modern cybersecurity plans and approaches but are realizing implementation in a government setting raises a host of complications.

Interest in facial recognition is strong

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report in August of 2021 that detailed current and planned use of facial recognition technology by federal agencies. In a survey of 24 departments and agencies it found that 18 reported using the technology and 10 reported plans to expand their use of it. Continue reading

3 Ways Public Safety is Utilizing Cutting Edge Technology

In an effort to continue to keep us safe, law enforcement and other first responders are embracing and responding to the implementation of new technologies. In this post we'll take a look at three technology areas impacting how law enforcement carries out their mission - video, autonomous vehicles, and Internet of Things.

Video Improves Transparency and Public Collaboration

Body and dash cameras were originally introduced in the United Kingdom in 2005, followed by large-scale implementation in the United States in 2014. Their wide application was designed to "make police services more transparent and officers more accountable." The technology has proven its worth. For example, only 2.1% of citizen complaints filed in Chicago between 2010 and 2016 resulted in a disciplinary action against police officers, according to the Invisible Institute. Part of this was due to the fact that investigations were carried out internally by police departments with little outside input. A recent study found that today, with the use of video evidence, police officers are 64% more likely to be subject to disciplinary action after a complaint investigation.

Recording the footage is only part of the solution to best using video. That footage must also be widely distributed to help in identifying suspects. In doing so, departments have to be mindful of privacy issues of others who may have been recorded. Video redaction can be a time consuming process that wastes valuable hours. Today, departments are utilizing AI-enabled redaction cutting the process down to minutes.

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Delivering on the Promise of Government for the People

Each administration issues a President's Management Agenda (PMA) that lays out several key goals around transforming the way government does "business." In his PMA, President Biden challenges agencies to "prove that government can deliver results." The guidance goes further to define success as results that are equitable, effective, and accountable. The PMA has three key areas of focus that aim to advance efforts currently in place with additional counsel and resources.

Priority 1: Strengthening and Empowering the Federal Workforce

The once feared "retirement tsunami" in reality has been a slow, steady wave, but incredibly impactful, nonetheless. As long-tenured federal employees retire, they take with them a valuable trove of knowledge - of what has worked and not worked overtime as well as how to navigate the bureaucracy of government. It is important to take that information out of employees' heads and document it in systems so that future teams have access to the experience.

Beyond retaining their knowledge, the role these employees play also needs replacing. Recruiting, training, and retaining are key focus areas of the PMA. To fill senior roles, existing employees need training to advance into these more strategic positions. For more tactical work, agencies are challenged to find ways to automate some manual efforts.

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Looking Past the Cloud and Into Space

While the focus of government modernization has been transitioning government into the Cloud, NASA and Space Force have their sights set even further. Both organizations are focused on bringing "new knowledge and opportunities back to Earth."

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Show Me the Data!

Data is critical to that mission. Using data, NASA leaders have set a goal to accelerate the time it takes to release innovations to the market by 25%. This data use challenge is common across government, and becomes even more complex when you have to get data from where it is to where it's needed and that movement involves data coming from space.

Being a new agency, Space Force is able to implement many digital born systems, but working with legacy data and systems is a constant challenge that requires innovative thinking. Critical to this is understanding a technology's application to a specific mission and effectively communicating its impact to leaders to help reduce barriers to changing "how it's always been done."

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Five Steps Toward Digital Transformation at the Department of Veterans Affairs

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is keenly focused on improving the healthcare and general services that support our military veterans. Incumbent on these improvements is the integration of leading edge technologies that digitize and automate processes for efficiency along with important security enhancements.

 

 

ONE: Implementation of Electronic Health Records

The Department's efforts to modernize the way they store and access records for the nine million veterans they care for into a comprehensive electronic system has been well documented. These efforts involve upgrading all 1200+ VA facilities' existing systems to ensure better continuity of care, and are currently focused on moving EHR data to a cloud system that will be interoperable with the Military Health System. The ultimate goal is to ensure service members can seamlessly and digitally transition from DOD to VA health care, instead of needing to carry around stacks of paper forms as is current practice.

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