Security of e-Government Systems
The project ‘Security of eGovernment systems’ aimed at assisting policymakers in discerning policy options for meeting future challenges in securing eGovernment systems. The project focused on upcoming challenges of eGovernment security in delivering public services across borders. Through identifying key security barriers and enablers, the project points to promising avenues of policy development in an environment of rapidly changing ICTs and changing socio-economic concerns in the EU. The project analysed and discussed security of eGovernment systems and services with special attention to the possibilities of future EU eGovernment services by gathering typical examples of existing national and international eGovernment services in Europe, analysing the most relevant security issues and possible response/solutions to these issues, debating policy options for advancing of EU eGovernment services and assessing and delivering specific policy options. A common European security baseline aims to raise the general level of security in European eGovernment services and systems. The development of such a baseline starts by outlining a security strategy on a political level that presents a roadmap of security measures for Europe. This report shows that eGovernment systems pose significant privacy risks for citizens with regard to the collection, storage, processing and exchange of personal or confidential data. It is clear that there is a need for improved privacy protection, in terms of a better technical and legal position for citizens and other players to exercise control over their data. Interoperability is another big challenge for cross-European eGovernment systems. Interoperability between systems and/or between countries is difficult to achieve and constitutes perhaps one of the most important barriers for European eGovernment services. In relation to security this is very much a question of the exchange of data, e.g. between different national eGovernment systems. The decision regarding the development, and subsequently the design of an eGovernment system inherently involves political choices on safeguarding privacy, security levels, interoperability and costs. Different requirements may be at odds with each other. For example, interoperability between systems and across borders may enable function creep and privacy risks; high levels of security and privacy typically require higher financial investments. The project results show that current policy discussions often lack a clear and explicit decision regarding these trade-offs.
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European Parliament / Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA) (STOA)