City of Vienna uses Blockchain to increase Security of Government Data

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The government of the city of Vienna is working with Ernst & Young on public blockchain to clarify and automate the administrative process.

The Blockchain solutions is an essential part of Vienna's digitalization initiative known as “DigitalCity.Wein.” It is focused on assisting the local government to validate as well as secure city's Open Government Data (OGD), which consists of data like public transport routes, train schedules, and surrounding commodities voting results.

The solution was provided by Vienna based developed in a span of 4 months. EY observed and helped to control the project, and incorporated blockchain networks into the OGD ecosystem. The network protects the official documents by storing hashtags of the data sets on the public blockchain, permitting city employees and citizens to study the document's accuracy, for example, when documents were created and when they were altered. The solution was available online in December 2017 and has currently secured more than 350 data sets on the blockchain networks.

Paul Brody, who is EY's Global Blockchain Innovation Leader stated: “When we think about the most useful applications for blockchain technology, increasing transparency is near the top of the list.” He further added, “From a foundation of transparent, reliable information, we can build all kinds of value-add, analytics, and insights, but it all starts with trustworthy information. We’re very proud to be working with the City of Vienna in this journey.”

Ulrike Huemer, who is the CIO of the city of Vienna stated that this project shapes the city as a predecessor in the execution of blockchain in public administration. Also, the city is determined to become an open and involved city with less bureaucracy.

Huemer also said that Using blockchain, government employees, residents or app developers can monitor any changes in data, thus if someone changes the bus route, which is linked to mapping applications, an alert can be activated. He further added, “We will continue teaming with experienced professionals such as EY to combine knowledge and establish Vienna as a center of support for blockchain – as well as one of the most forward-looking technology cities in Europe and worldwide.”

Currently, the solution is only approving documents from Vienna on the public blockchains, however, Brigitte Lutz, the city's project manager stated that they will extend this moreover to store complete Austrian Open Government Data portal.
Lutz also states that in the near future, we expect that the IT companies and the city of Vienna could work together to promote Vienna as a smart city and a hotspot of digital industries.

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