Peter Hustinx: The role of data protection legislation

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Conference on “Security of e-Government” – European Parliament, Brussels, 19 February 2013

As the invitation for this conference rightly states, “e-Government is at the forefront of current public sector reform policies across the world where the use of information and communication technologies aims to digitize transactions, deliver public service and leverage public sector innovation”.

It also mentions some of the challenges: “how to ensure a proper security level, and how to safeguard citizen’s privacy?” This introductory note will focus on the privacy challenges, more particularly in view of current and very likely future data protection legislation. Not in any way intended as a “show stopper”, but as a contribution to overcoming some of the challenges and to finding the best way forward.

For this purpose, the note first briefly highlights some of the relevant characteristics of what is commonly referred to as “e-Government” (1), and how security and privacy relate to each other (2). It subsequently looks at some key privacy or data protection1 challenges (3), and how they are affected by the review of the EU legal framework for data protection (4). This leads to a few main messages and conclusions (5). Here to read more.

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