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Noreen Seebacher

Spending Money to Save Money

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Ariella
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Re: Self-Fulfilling Data
Ariella   1/25/2013 8:52:12 AM
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@SaneIT I haven't looked into that. I'm not sure the government is completely transparent about how much of our personal data it collects and shares among agencies. I have seen articles about the government extracting that data from Google, like this one: 

Google is reporting yet another uptick in government requests for its users' data.

Google's latest Transparency Report indicates governments want more user data than ever.


Governments want Google's data more than ever.

That's the conclusion of the search engine giant's latest Transparency Report, which indicates that governments around the world filed an increasing number of requests for user data in the second half of 2012. In the United States, some 68 percent of those requests came through subpoenas, while 22 percent came through Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) search warrants; the remainder was "mostly court orders," according to Google's Jan. 23 blog posting on the matter.

Google received a total of 21,389 requests for information about 33,634 users for the July-through-December timeframe. The United States topped the list with 8,438 user data requests, followed by India with 2,431, France with 1,693, Germany with 1,550, and the United Kingdom in fifth with 1,458.

The United States also headed the list of countries issuing court orders to remove government data from Google services, with 209, followed by Germany with 180, Brazil with 143, Turkey with 48 and France with 37. When that same data is broken down by "Other requests (executive, police, etc.)" instead of court orders, Turkey tops the list with 453 requests, followed by the United Kingdom with 79, Germany with 67, and the United States and India with 64 apiece.


slashdot (http://s.tt/1yQCz)

SaneIT
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Re: Self-Fulfilling Data
SaneIT   1/25/2013 7:34:12 AM
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That's great and exactly the kind of thing I was thinking of.  The amount of weather data that NASA and NOAA both hold is immense, why not share it and make our tax dollars go further.  Have you seen any that are doing this with personal data? 

Ariella
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Re: Self-Fulfilling Data
Ariella   1/24/2013 3:44:25 PM
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@SaneIT there is some attempt to do that now with collaborative projects. For example, in 2012 NASA listed a number of of big data intitiatives, and some are to be collaborative efforts with DOE or NOAA and the EPA. Much of what NASA investigates now relates to weather and climate changes, which does overlap with the interests of other government agencies.

Noreen Seebacher
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Re: Self-Fulfilling Data
Noreen Seebacher   1/24/2013 9:28:09 AM
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Absolutely SaneIT. I don't think the federal government is willing to acknowledge that some of the data that was once proprietary to an agency is now readily available through many sources -- including melissa data, white pages, etc.

SaneIT
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Re: Self-Fulfilling Data
SaneIT   1/24/2013 7:34:42 AM
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That's exactly what I was talking about Noreen.  There seems to be huge gaps in awareness of what other agencies have, can do or have done.  I'm wondering how much we could save by pulling some of that data into one pool and make them share it.  The initial project would be expensive but the end result would be less waste.

SaneIT
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Re: Self-Fulfilling Data
SaneIT   1/24/2013 7:32:38 AM
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I agree that not all data is the same but we have many overlapping government agencies that have overlapping functions and sometimes I think of how nice it would be if they had similar procedures when dealing with them at the very least.  When you think about all the government agencies who have data on you and the fact that if you update data with one it doesn't necessarily trickle down to the others it's obvious that they could do better.  I also think about things like local government issues we've seen around here lately of agencies leasing space when there are empty government owned buildings. Chances are most of them don't know that this space exists and that leads me to believe that they don't know about other things going on around them like databases they could be using to sanity check their data or that they could use instead of duplicating data.

rbaz
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Data Doctor
Re: Self-Fulfilling Data
rbaz   1/23/2013 8:38:41 PM
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In the interest of eliminating redundancy, strive for uniformity and promote efficient cost controls, all federal tech initiatives and implimentation should be under the directive of a newly formed autonomous agency with the symple mandate of applying the best available technologies to government operations. Much like the concept of the GSA.

Callmebob
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Master Analyst
Re: Self-Fulfilling Data
Callmebob   1/23/2013 1:33:45 PM
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@SaneIT - Sorry, I was trying for irony rather than sarcasm but sometimes there's just a fine line between the two.

I agree with your sentiment that if there are any agencies that know what to do with data they should share. But all data is not created equal or agencies either. Often Government agencies don't know what their other hand is doing or want to work together due to interagency competition (and jealousy). I.e., the FBI and CIA. Another issue is the contract funding process that can frequently tie an agency's hands or limit their flexibility to make changes.

Noreen Seebacher
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Re: Self-Fulfilling Data
Noreen Seebacher   1/23/2013 1:06:04 PM
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I've wondered the same thing. The education dept outsourced an address canvassing operation for a survey in 2011 that duplicated work the census bureau had performed in 2009. And either agency could have obtained the same info from any one of a number of private companies for a lot less money!

SaneIT
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Data Doctor
Re: Self-Fulfilling Data
SaneIT   1/23/2013 8:23:07 AM
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@Callmebob, I'm reading that comment with a touch of sarcasm, but I'd rather the government was spending money on real usable systems and paying real companies who are doing more than just soaking the government fraudulently than let the government keep paying out blindly.  In the short term the cost might look similar to what they are already paying out in fraudulent transactions or even less than optimal transactions but in the long run as waste is reduced the cost is recovered.  I just wonder if we have any government agencies that are good with using the data they have since we hear so many horror stories.  If there is one agency that is good with data why can't we get them to share some of that savvy with other agencies?

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