A report from the City Administrative Officer of the $7.25 million proposal was to have been discussed at City Council’s Information Technology and General Services committee meeting Tuesday. The plan would move email and many other applications from city-owned and controlled computers to Google servers. The servers would be accessed via the Internet. Such a system is often called "cloud computing."
The controversial plan envisions moving the city’s 30,000 email users to Google servers, along with many documents. The Los Angeles Police Department has expressed concerns about security if the city makes the move. Both Tim Riley, chief of the LAPD Information & Communications Services Bureau and his boss, Assistant Chief Sharon Papa were there to answer questions.
"We believe that the City of Los Angeles has rushed into this without enough careful consideration of all of the consequences, and without enough attention to the details of protecting the privacy of the data contractually. We urge the City of Los Angeles to conduct a thorough analysis and risk assessment of all privacy and other confidentiality impacts that may occur, and we urge the City to protect its residents and itself from the many potential unintended consequences."
- "Is a cloud environment going to provide sufficient protection for such sensitive information?
- "Does the City’s stewardship role in regard to personal information preclude movement of personal information to a cloud environment?"
She urged that the City consider "a rigorous privacy and security impact assessment " about the cloud computing proposal including "a thorough risk analysis."
I had planned to testify that "rushing headlong onto Google’s cloud will only ensure stormy weather in Los Angeles."
One thing is certain, most of us there on Tuesday will be back in two weeks.