Title: Making public concerns feasible : an empirical study on citizen conception of data protection and data security
Authors : Pleger, Lyn Ellen
Mertes, Alexander
Guirguis, Katharina
et. al : No
Conference details: EGPA Conference 2019, Belfast, Northern Irland, 9-10 September 2019
Issue Date: 2019
License (according to publishing contract) : Licence according to publishing contract
Type of review: No review
Language : English
Subject (DDC) : 350: Public administration
Abstract: Digitisation processes within the public sector have led to an increase in innovative approaches for better service delivery. The umbrella term describing the promotion of better public service delivery by means of information and communication technology (ICT) is e-government. Within the public sector, citizens and their requirements as stakeholders are particularly central. Research shows that citizens are often positive about e-government efforts. What is striking, however, is the consensus regarding the identified citizen concerns towards e-government related initiatives. Study results reveal reservations of the population towards digital e-services or e-government in general are often based on concerns that pertain to data security and data protection. Against the background of the relevance of data protection and data security, it is also noticeable that there is no common understanding in research and practice as to what is meant by the terms. We argue that one reason for the lack of consensus stems from the fact, that data protection and data security is an elusive concept because it can be approached from different perspectives. First, there is a technical perspective which is primarily led by technicians. Second, there is a legal perspective, which is primarily explored by the administration and politicians. Finally, there is the subjective perspective of citizens. The latter is often much less concrete than the other perspectives and is based on intuition rather than facts. Ensuring data security and data protection when implementing e-government initiatives is fundamental and the discussions about technical and legal perspectives are legitimate and important. At present, however, both the technical and legal perspectives fail to adequately address the fears and concerns of the population, which is also caused by a high degree of complexity of the debates in the public arena. The paper therefore aims to help conceptualise data protection and data security from the population point of view by means of an empirical survey. The study is based on an online-survey among citizens from the UK and Switzerland in which they are asked, in a broad sense, what they understand by the concepts of data security and data protection. In a narrower sense, the survey concept to investigate citizen perception of data security and data protection is derived from literature exploring data security and protection from a theoretical, technical and legal perspective. The survey results of the subjective evaluations by the citizens are then compared to the legal and technical perspectives. In a next step, a theoretical concept for data security and data protection from the citizen perspective is derived from the empirical data. Gathering responses from two different countries also allows for an assessment of differences and similarities of the perceptions of citizens with altered political and legal environments. In addition, the data allows to examine whether the understanding of data protection differs along sociodemographic characteristics. The citizen concept of data security and data protection helps to mediate between politics, technology and the population in the discourse of e-government initiatives and their accompanying requirements for data protection and data security.
Departement: School of Management and Law
Organisational Unit: Institute of Public Management (IVM)
Publication type: Conference other
URI: https://digitalcollection.zhaw.ch/handle/11475/18473
Appears in Collections:Publikationen School of Management and Law

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