There was an interesting article in the New York Times, “Police Surveillance May Earn Money for City” (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/04/nyregion/new-york-citys-police-surveillance-technology-could-bring-in-money.html).
Because it focused on law enforcement, much of the article dealt with privacy and other issues raised by police use of technology. These issues are indeed challenging, but not that new.
A newer part of the story is that this is a good example of something I’ve been expecting to see for a couple of years: government to government software-as-a-service.
Here are some relevant excerpts from the story:
The policing system is making New York safer and it will also make money for the city, which is marketing it to other jurisdictions.
Buyers would pay to access the software (at least several million dollars and more depending on the size of the jurisdiction and whether specifications have to be customized). New York City will receive 30 percent of the gross revenues from the sale of the system and access to any innovations developed for new customers. The revenue will be directed to counterterrorism and crime prevention programs.
This government-to-government service allows less technologically skilled governments to get sophisticated services they could create for themselves. It also enables the most technologically advanced governments to spread out their development costs over a larger base and to save some money for their taxpayers. A win-win as the old expression goes.
Even beyond law enforcement – or maybe I should say, especially outside of law enforcement – the logic of this situation is likely to lead to an expansion of these government-to-government technology services. More examples in future posts. Please let me know if you have any examples.
© 2013 Norman Jacknis