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Five cities, five different approaches to algorithms in government

Five cities, five different approaches to algorithms in government

We looked at five cities and the steps and policies that are bringing new technology to city hall.

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As local legislators debate facial recognition, some agencies restrict it with their own policies first

As local legislators debate facial recognition, some agencies restrict it with their own policies first

Last month, San Francisco became the first municipality in the country to ban the use of facial recognition by city departments. Later today, Somerville, Massachusetts may join its ranks. Agencies in other cities, however, aren’t waiting for city councils to weigh in, implementing policies that bar the use of facial recognition. Though the agency-level limits are not subject to the public development and enforcement that support city or state-level rules, they can be important measures in an agency’s own relationship with residents.

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The Smart City still has a lot of learning to do

The Smart City still has a lot of learning to do

Much of urban America is in the market for ways to handle the pressures that come with growing and changing populations. Enter “smart cities:” The movement to make municipal planning more efficient and effective for residents, which has a lot of champions but no one-size-fits-all program.

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Until recently, police in Columbus, Ohio couldn't differentiate between rape kits and shopping carts

Until recently, police in Columbus, Ohio couldn’t differentiate between rape kits and shopping carts

A public records request with the Columbus Police Department revealed that until a year ago, the department tagged rape kits in evidence as “other,” a designation also used for shopping carts and cell phones.

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