A Framework for Assessing Privacy Readiness of e-Government

Kristof Kessler, Nils Hettich, Chadley Parsons, Craig Richardson, Anny Triana


While rapid growth of information and communication technology in government can facilitate improved service provision, it can also pose a privacy threat. Privacy is thus a key concern in the establishment – and the success or failure – of e-government systems. Yet research into privacy requirements related to e-government has not so far yielded an appropriate analytical framework. Consequently, the purpose of this paper is to develop such a framework.

The proposed framework incorporates the five maturity stages of e-government and their specific privacy requirements from a PolicyTechnology and Citizen requirements perspective. Its utilization and implications are then outlined by analysing and comparing two case examples; one from Germany, one from Kenya. Researchers and practitioners can use the proposed framework to identify major privacy-related issues in citizen-facing e-government systems and to develop appropriate recommendations for action.

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Educator's guide

Synopsis questions

  1. Explain the interconnection between e-government and privacy.  [Part A].
  2. Summarise the purpose and dimensions of the framework for assessing privacy readiness of e-government and how the dimensions contribute to fulfilling the framework's purpose. [Part B].
  3. Summarise the application of the framework to the case examples and what implications can be derived for the cases in particular.  [Part C].
  4. How does the framework relate to the work of academics and practitioners at the intersection of privacy and e-government?  [Part D]

Development questions

  1. Is there an absolute measure for privacy attainment in e-government? Which role could cultural and personal aspects play?
  2. Is the selection of case examples justified? Elaborate on which case characteristics could strengthen or weaken the arguments made, respectively.
  3. Which critical aspects of privacy readiness in e-government are not addressed by the framework and why? Which currently-addressed aspects can be considered non-critical and why?
  4. Are there other applications of the framework beyond privacy readiness? If so, which areas could the framework cover; why and how?