The New Zealand Government, as part of its Result 10 Initiative, reported on research on digital service delivery pain points that appear to have applicability across jurisdictional boundaries.
Result 10 is focused on enabling “New Zealanders [to] complete their transactions with government easily in a digital environment”
They defined "Pain Points" as "... places where a person trying to use your service feels “pain” due to poor operational structure, bad service design or inefficiencies."
The grouping of pain points into two broad categories, and the top 3 in each category (measured as a percentage of people that experienced the issue), are given below:
Those related to the way agencies function and the problems that arise when they operate in silos
A situation where a person had to provide the same information to several government agencies
A situation where a person felt a government agency asked them to provide too much information to prove who they were
A situation where a person wanted to complete a whole transaction online, but was unable to do so
Those related to where customers felt agencies were not listening or taking their circumstances into consideration
A situation where a person had missed out on a service or entitlement because they did not know it was available
A government agency not seeming to understand the effect its decisions and requests had on the person
A government agency that seemed to be looking for a reason to turn a request down, rather than considering it on merit
The complete list of pain points can be found here, but I found it particularly telling that the pain point with the highest resonance, "A situation where a person had to provide the same information to several government agencies", is a familiar one across the public sector.
The term of art that is often used when this topic comes up is "Tell Us Once" as in "We want to implement a 'tell us once' strategy to improve the user experience", and addressing it has unique implications for public sector digital services.
All in all, it appears that the issues that are surfaced by this research are not unique to NZ. What will be interesting to watch is if the approaches to addressing them are similar or different across jurisdictions.
The business of personal data
Google recently released it's new My Account feature that in its words "... gives you quick access to the settings and tools that let you safeguard your data, protect your privacy, and decide how your information can make Google tools and services work better for you"
As a Google user, the ZDNet tutorial on using My Account scared me in the off-hand way it talked about the data that Google has on me, and what it does with it.
"... you might not care about saving your Google Maps or Location history"
"... you may be surprised to find that your publicly shared Google+ photos may be used as background images on Google products and services"
"... if you review or recommend say an album you bought from the Google Play store, your endorsements may be shared with your Google+ friends"
"By default, anyone can see which videos you like and which channels you subscribe to [on YouTube]"
"This includes what devices you use, your voice searches, your YouTube search and watch history, your search and location history. By default, Google keeps a permanent record of these."
While 'My Account' is a good start, given it is an opt-out scenario, I have to wonder how many people will consciously and diligently go through and tweak these settings.
Google announced that unlimited cloud storage on Google Photos is free.
cyberforge: random and relevant
US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) reported a breach of its systems in which the Personally Identifiable Information of approximately 4 million individuals was potentially compromised.
An in-depth article on the security of bluetooth
Brainprints as a biometric via Bruce Schneier