Security of eGovernment Systems

March 8, 2011

The Danish Board of Technology, the Rathenau Institute from the Netherlands and ITAS from Germany take part in a STOA project about the security of eGovernment systems.

The world is becoming increasingly digitalized, and this presents opportunities for everyone – including governments. The ability to make public services easily available online is an alluring prospect for governments, not just because of the immediate benefits this would give to the citizens in terms of easy access to the public sector, but also because of the potential benefits of cost-savings and increased efficiency. Consequently governments are looking to exploit these advantages to address the ever-present universal problem of stressed public finances. But eGovernment is no panacea; it brings benefits but also new threats that need to be addressed. Some of these are the security challenges related to increased use of eGovernment systems.

To handle these issues on a European level the Danish Board of Technology, the Rathenau Institute and ITAS has been asked by STOA, the European Parliament’s panel for Science and Technology Option Assessment, to carry out a project to examine the challenges and threats that the implementation of eGovernment might pose to the privacy and security of the data of European citizens, organizations and institutions.

In order to do so the project focuses on some of the main areas in which the implementation of eGovernment will have an influence on European citizens. These are areas such as eProcurement, eID and eHealth. The issues that are addressed will range from data security to privacy, usability, interoperability and more.

The goal of the project is to make policy makers aware of the problems and threats that might arise as a consequence of digitalizing the European public sector, in order for them to make more well-informed and enlightened decisions on the future implementation of eGovernment in Europe.

As part of the project a conference debating security of eGovernment was arranged and took place in the beginning of 2012.