City Of Vienna Using Blockchain To Enhance Security Of Government Data

Blockchain, News | August 1, 2018 By:

The government of the city of Vienna in Austria is working with accounting services firm Ernst & Young (EY) on a blockchain solution designed to simplify and automate administrative processes.

The blockchain solution, which is part of Vienna’s digitalization initiative called “DigitalCity.Wien,” is aimed at helping the local government validate and secure the city’s Open Government Data (OGD), which includes data such as public transport routes, train schedules and surrounding communities’ voting results.

The solution was built by Vienna-based developers over a period of four months. EY supervised and helped to manage the project, and integrated the blockchain networks into the OGD platform. The networks secure official documents by storing hashtags of the data sets on the public blockchains, allowing city employees as well as citizens to review the documents’ authenticity, when they were created, and when and if the data was modified. The solution went live in December 2017, and has already secured approximately 350 datasets on the blockchain networks.

“When we think about the most useful applications for blockchain technology, increasing transparency is near the top of the list,” said Paul Brody, EY Global Blockchain Innovation Leader. “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, CIO of the city of Vienna, said that this project makes the city a pioneer in the implementation of blockchains in public administration, adding that they are committed to an open and participatory city with reduced bureaucracy.

“With blockchain, government employees, residents or app developers can trace changes in data, so if someone changes the bus route – which is linked to mapping applications – an alert can be triggered,” Huemer said. “We will continue teaming with experienced professionals such as EY to pool knowledge and establish Vienna as a center of competence for blockchain – as well as one of the most forward-looking technology cities in Europe and worldwide.”

At present, the solution is only notarizing documents from Vienna on the public blockchains, but Brigitte Lutz, the city’s Project Manager, said that they will expand this further to all data of the Austrian Open Government Data portal.

“Going forward, we anticipate that IT companies and the City of Vienna could collaborate to promote Vienna as a smart city and a hotspot for digital industries,” Lutz said.