Top Senate Democrats unveil new online privacy bill, promising tough penalties for data abuse

Google | November 27, 2019

Senate Democrats on Tuesday, Nov. 26, proposed tough new punishments for Facebook, Google and other Silicon Valley tech giants that mishandle their users' personal data, unveiling a sweeping new online privacy bill that aims to provide people their "Miranda rights" for the digital age. The effort, led by Sen. Maria Cantwell, a Washington state Democrat who previously worked in the tech industry, marks a significant attempt by Congress to write the country's first-ever national consumer-privacy law after years of false starts - and massive data scandals that illustrated the costs of the U.S. government's inaction. Cantwell's bill, dubbed the Consumer Online Privacy Rights Act, would allow people to see the personal information that is amassed about them and block it from being sold. The measure also promises steep fines and opens the door for web users to bring lawsuits, if social media sites, retailers and others engage in harmful practices and break the rules.

Spotlight

Digital modernization refers to the process of utilizing technology, whether through adoption of new tools or the improvement of existing ones, to achieve organizational goals. This can include enhancing the user experience, ensuring high uptime, implementing robust security measures, reducing latency, and streamlining processes for resolving issues. All levels of government are going through a digital transformation to deliver services and programs more effectively,transparently, and economically.To meet the demands of citizens who have adapted to the technological advancements in society, digital government transformation has become a vital aspect of providing efficient and effective services. However, one of the biggest hurdles in this process for federal agencies is striking a balance between leveraging technology for its benefits and maintaining robust security and privacy measures. Federal agencies handle confidential information regularly, making it imperative to safeguard against data breaches. Consequently, agencies must ensure that their digital systems and procedures are secure and adhere to relevant regulatory requirements.

Spotlight

Digital modernization refers to the process of utilizing technology, whether through adoption of new tools or the improvement of existing ones, to achieve organizational goals. This can include enhancing the user experience, ensuring high uptime, implementing robust security measures, reducing latency, and streamlining processes for resolving issues. All levels of government are going through a digital transformation to deliver services and programs more effectively,transparently, and economically.To meet the demands of citizens who have adapted to the technological advancements in society, digital government transformation has become a vital aspect of providing efficient and effective services. However, one of the biggest hurdles in this process for federal agencies is striking a balance between leveraging technology for its benefits and maintaining robust security and privacy measures. Federal agencies handle confidential information regularly, making it imperative to safeguard against data breaches. Consequently, agencies must ensure that their digital systems and procedures are secure and adhere to relevant regulatory requirements.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY,CYBERSECURITY

QinetiQ US Completes Acquisition of Avantus Federal

Avantus Federal | November 24, 2022

Lorton, VA and McLean, VA – QinetiQ US, a wholly owned subsidiary of QinetiQ Group plc, an integrated global defense and security company, announced today that it completed its acquisition of Avantus Federal (Avantus) from NewSpring Holdings for an enterprise value of $590 million. The combination of QinetiQ US and Avantus creates a unique platform to offer comprehensive mission-led innovation for the most sensitive and complex challenges intelligence, defense, homeland, civilian, and other government customers face today. This transaction was previously announced August 5, and the transition is expected to be seamless for customers, partners, and employees. This integration will combine QinetiQ’s leadership in robotics and autonomous systems, sensing, protection systems, and next-generation technology services with Avantus’ advantages in strategic planning, operations, and stakeholder collaboration in a host of government operations, including cyber, data, government facility, and outer space solutions. The combination will deliver mission-led innovation in hardware, software, and mission services to the growing needs of defense, intelligence, homeland security, and law enforcement organizations, along with civilian agencies in the United States and close-U.S. allied nations including the United Kingdom and Australia. “I am delighted that we have completed the acquisition of Avantus today – it is a strategic milestone in our five-year ambition to build an integrated global defence and security company, delivering innovation for our customers’ mission, This acquisition extends our customer base, strengthens our capabilities and builds scale in the largest defence and security market in the world. With a strong track record of 10%+ growth at attractive margins, Avantus is a brilliant strategic and cultural fit and positions us to meet the increasing mission-critical needs of our US defence and intelligence customers with agility and pace.” -Steve Wadey, Group Chief Executive Officer for QinetiQ Group plc. Andy Maner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Avantus, said the combination with QinetiQ US is key to providing more opportunities and growth for our people and customers. We started this journey with our great partner, NewSpring Holdings, and now we’re taking a critical step forward that allows our collective team to leverage additional scale and investments across our world class talent, technology, and processes at a pivotal time in our market and geopolitical landscape. “We are thrilled to welcome our Avantus colleagues to QinetiQ US, Avantus’ elite talent, differentiated technology solutions, and dedication to mission complement our innovative culture. I am honored to lead a combined team that shares a focus on performance and a proven ability to be agile in impactful delivery at the speed of our customers’ missions.” QinetiQ is a leading science and engineering company dedicated to protecting lives and securing the vital interests of defense and security customers with distinctive offerings in experimentation and technology; cyber and information advantage; engineering services and support; robotics and autonomous systems; training and mission rehearsal; and, test and evaluation. This is complimented by the Avantus capabilities to leverage a strong consulting force to deliver technology, cyber, data, digital engineering and integration, intelligence analysis, and operations strategy and tactics to its clients, ensuring maximum efficiency and impact. -Shawn Purvis, President and Chief Executive Officer of QinetiQ US. About QinetiQ US: QinetiQ US is a leading defense and security company in the United States providing mission-led innovation at pace. QinetiQ US is a provider of technologically advanced services and products to the US Department of Defence and national security agencies, positioned to deliver key aspects of the modernization required to address our customers’ pivot to counter near peer adversaries. QinetiQ’s engineering services span the DoD and Intel community providing subject matter expertise in the areas of communications, sensor integration and research and development, survivability and unmanned ground combat systems. QinetiQ US operates as the U.S. arm of QinetiQ Group plc (QQ.LSE), an integrated global defense and security company focused on innovation for defense, security and civil customers. QinetiQ US employees are based predominantly in Virginia and Massachusetts and operate under a Special Security Agreement (SSA) with the U.S. Defence Counterintelligence & Security Agency (DCSA). QinetiQ US is creating new ways of protecting what matters most; testing technologies, systems, and processes to make sure they work as expected; and enabling customers to deploy new and enhanced-existing capabilities with the assurance they will deliver the outcomes required. About Avantus Federal: Avantus Federal is a mission-focused data, cyber, and space services and solutions company. As a mid-market powerhouse with an intentional blend of elite talent, infrastructure, and speed to impact, Avantus and its approximately 1,150 highly cleared professionals lead with technical and domain expertise for its Defence, Intelligence, Homeland Security, and Federal Civilian customers.

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CYBERSECURITY

WalkMe Joins UK Government's G-Cloud Digital Marketplace

WalkMe | November 09, 2022

WalkMe Ltd. (NASDAQ: WKME), a leading provider of digital adoption solutions, today announced its approval to join the G-Cloud Digital Marketplace by the Crown Commercial Service of the UK government. WalkMe is now a part of the G-Cloud 13 initiative, a centralized hub for the streamlined procurement of cloud-related IT services and technologies by public sector organizations such as central and local governments, non-profit organizations, education, defense, and emergency and health services. The G-Cloud Marketplace reduces the complex requirements to purchase IT by centralizing the vendor qualification process. There is an urgent need to deliver more and better services quicker with tighter budgets in the National Healthcare Service (NHS) and across the British government. WalkMe's digital adoption platform (DAP) provides customised on screen guidance and automation to realise the promise of digital technology while improving the employee and end user experience as well as overall programme efficiency. WalkMe's DAP not only increases the adoption of digital technologies, but also levels the playing field for citizens with varying degrees of digital dexterity making for more equitable access to government services. The platform can identify usage inefficiencies so that solutions can be deployed to improve adoption and overall user experience while providing unprecedented data insights to continuously improve. Improving the adoption of digital technologies in the public sector will make services more accessible, reduce pressure on contact centers as end users opt for on screen help and automation, and lower staff attrition as employees can use their digital tools more easily and efficiently. "We are honored to join the G-Cloud Digital Marketplace and do our part to strengthen government-citizen relationships through enhanced user experience and accessibility, We look forward to playing a role in the improvement of the digital citizen experience across the UK and to discover the innovative ways public sector organizations will use WalkMe technology to drive efficiency, save money, and elevate the experience for end users across the board." -Simon Blunn, Senior Vice President & General Manager EMEA, WalkMe. About WalkMe: WalkMe's cloud-based digital adoption platform enables organizations to measure, drive and act to ultimately accelerate their digital transformations and better realize the value of their software investments. Our code-free platform leverages our proprietary technology to provide visibility to an organization's Chief Information Officer and business leaders, while improving user experience, productivity and efficiency for employees and customers. Alongside walkthroughs and third-party integration capabilities, our platform can be customized to fit an organization's needs.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY,GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

AINS is Now OPEXUS, Fresh Focus on Govt. Operational Excellence & Community

OPEXUS | January 19, 2023

AINS LLC, a government process management software service provider, recently announced its rebranding and will now function under the name OPEXUS. The new identity perfectly describes the company's dedication to public institutions, providing their communities with great technology experiences. The company has relocated its headquarters to Washington, D.C. Before the rebranding, AINS was acquired by an affiliate of Gemspring Capital in November 2021, after a remarkable year of growth. New customers touched an all-time high in 2022, including federal, state, and local government agencies in the United States, national and provincial governments in Canada, and a university as the company's first customer in higher education. Additionally, OPEXUS has established itself as the market leader in the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) technology space, which played a significant role in the company's success and will remain a priority in 2023. OPEXUS (formerly ANIS) this year has been acknowledged as a first-time member of the GovTech100, a yearly list compiled and published by Government Technology featuring 100 companies committed to making a distinction in and selling to government agencies across the U.S. Furthermore, the OPEXUS team will focus on providing product enhancements and a range of new customer experience capabilities. It includes revamped user experiences for the existing software, a brand-new customer success team, and a more comprehensive network of cutting-edge tech partners to speed up the development of a range of new products. Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) Director, Kristi Whitfield said, "Mayor Bowser remains steadfast in her commitment to encouraging businesses to headquarters in the District of Columbia. More businesses establishing and maintaining roots in our nation's capital means more job opportunities for District residents as well as more opportunities for our local government to keep local dollars local by doing business with District-based enterprises. That's a win for all." (Source: PR Newswire) About OPEXUS Founded in 1988, OPEXUS is the leader in FedRAMP-certified government management software, supporting public institutions with 30 years of experience. OPEXUS, headquartered in Washington D.C., brings functional excellence to governments' middle office so that agencies can concentrate on the critical work of mission delivery. With a built-for-government product suite that includes solutions for audits, investigations, correspondence, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, and employee & labor, the company empowers 100,000 government users with exceptional technology experiences and collaborates with more than 150 government agencies across the U.S. and Canada.

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