CTG UAlbany represented at EGOV-CeDEM-ePart 2018 International Conference

Sept. 13, 2018

CTG UAlbany was well represented at the EGOV-CeDEM-ePart 2018 International Conference at Danube University in Krems, Austria from Sept. 3-5.

The research institute at the University at Albany also had a pair of papers published in the proceedings of the conference. The papers can be found on the Conference’s website.

Director Theresa Pardo chaired the Policy Modeling and Policy Informatics track for the conference, while Research Director J. Ramon Gil-Garcia was the chair of the Open Data, Linked Data & Semantic Web track and the PhD Colloquium.

Faculty Fellow Luis Luna-Reyes and Program Director Meghan Cook were both parts of the Program Committee.

The first CTG UAlbany paper published was, “Understanding the Potential of Blockchain for IoT Data in the Public Sector: Challenges and Benefits in a Simulated Environment,” by Visiting Scholar Lingjun Fan, Graduate Assistant Sora Park, and Gil-Garcia.

The abstract for the paper describes the work as: Data from Internet of Things (IoT) networks are being generated in many smart city and other public-sector initiatives around the world. 

While current cloud center-based IoT network shows some advantages for data management in the public sector (e.g., large capacity, flexibility), several data privacy and security challenges arise in these centralized IoT networks.

Because blockchain technology can store IoT data in a distributed way as well as manage the data by allowing the participants (stakeholders) to design and implement their own data access control policies, blockchain technology has the potential to facilitate and strengthen data sharing and management in the public sector. 

However, the benefits of blockchain technology are only conceptual and it lacks empirical evidence as to what kinds of benefits and challenges blockchain technology would bring to data management. In this paper, we simulate a sensors’ network and analyze how blockchain can be used for IoT data management in the public sector.

The second CTG UAlbany paper in the proceedings was by Public Administration and Policy graduate student Crystal Charles and Gil-Garcia titled, “Government Engagement with the Civic Tech Community on Twitter: The Case of the New York City School of Data.”

The abstract for the paper describes the work: Social media have become spaces for engagement and interactions between government agencies, citizens, businesses, and civic organizations. 

Even in exchanges not created by government agencies, they might play important roles and affect opinions and actions of multiple social actors. 

However, there is little empirical evidence on the role of local governments in social media networks not initiated by them. Based on social network analysis and content analysis about the New York City School of Data, this study characterizes how governments engage with the civic tech community using Twitter. 

The overall purpose is to re-conceptualize the opportunities and constraints of democracy, which can provide lessons on expanding opportunities for participation. Preliminary results indicate that the local government plays a relatively prominent role in the network, interacting with actors from multiple sectors. 

Next steps in this study include extending and refining the initial social network analysis and adding the content analysis as a way to understand different strategies for engagement and interactions.