Cybersecurity of the Person


Paper by Jeff Kosseff: “U.S. cybersecurity law is largely an outgrowth of the early-aughts concerns over identity theft and financial fraud. Cybersecurity laws focus on protecting identifiers such as driver’s licenses and social security numbers, and financial data such as credit card numbers. Federal and state laws require companies to protect this data and notify individuals when it is breached, and impose civil and criminal liability on hackers who steal or damage this data. In this paper, I argue that our current cybersecurity laws are too narrowly focused on financial harms. While such concerns remain valid, they are only one part of the cybersecurity challenge that our nation faces.

Too often overlooked by the cybersecurity profession are the harms to individuals, such as revenge pornography and online harassment. Our legal system typically addresses these harms through retrospective criminal prosecution and civil litigation, both of which face significant limits. Accounting for such harms in our conception of cybersecurity will help to better align our laws with these threats and reduce the likelihood of the harms occurring….(More)”,

Our bold vision for Australia’s digital future


Speech by Minister for Human Services and Digital Transformation, Michael Keenan: ” …The job of the Australian Government is to keep Australia at the forefront of these changes and work to utilise digital advances for the good of the whole population….

This is the most exciting story in town. Digital transformation will change how government does things for you. It will mean much less red tape and much more responsive policy. It means we can harness data to deliver social and economic benefits. It will mean the government can be there whenever you need us, but we will stay out of your way when you don’t, so you can go about your life with minimal interference….

To power this transformation forward I am very pleased to announce today the launch of our Digital Transformation Strategy. This Strategy sets out a bold vision for Australia to remain in the top 3 digital governments in the world by 2025..

The Strategy will provide a clear direction for our work on data and digital transformation, with the aim to have all government services available digitally in the next 7 years.

The Strategy is accompanied by a comprehensive Roadmap of key projects and milestones being rolled out over the next two years….

Our new approach is to design services that respond to common life events — like having a baby or starting a new job.

This is a big change from the way we do things now, where a member of the public has to go to any number of government departments, online or community groups to find information and services.

We currently organise government around our imperatives and needs, but in the future we will organise it around yours….

For example, digital technology will make it possible to deliver a fully personalised digital assistant.

That means that everyone accessing government services may have access to their own dedicated, personal avatar assistant, that can talk in their language, know their preferences, understand their needs and provide a familiar face to dealing with the government.

This is not science-fiction. In fact, a couple of years ago, my department had a prototype – Nadia – that was world leading.

Unfortunately, Nadia wasn’t quite ready at the time to deliver on the promise, but technology is evolving rapidly. I am confident that the day when such assistants will be around us – both in government and in private enterprise – is not that far away.

We already see smart assistants in our lives, whether it’s Siri and Cortana in our phones and computers, or Amazon’s Alexa or Google in our homes.

Having your own dedicated government digital assistant also means that, as a government, we will be able to deliver truly personalised services.

While we are starting with re-focusing government services around life events, our ambition is to end up offering you tailored support when you need it, based on your individual circumstances….(More)”.

See also: Digital Transformation Strategy.


The Innovation System of the Public Service of Canada


OECD: Today, the OECD Observatory of Public Sector Innovation (OPSI) is pleased to announce the release of The Innovation System of the Public Service of Canada, the first of the OECD’s reviews of a national public sector innovation system….Some of the key findings and observations from the report include:

  • The Government of Canada starts with a strong base, having a long demonstrated history of innovation. The civil service also has a longstanding awareness and appreciation of the need for innovation.
  • There has been an ongoing recognition that the Public Service of Canada needs to continue to adapt and be responsive. Respective Clerks (the Heads of the Public Service) have repeatedly identified the need to go further.
  • Much of the ‘low-hanging’ fruit (i.e. activities to support public sector innovation such as awards, efforts to remove hurdles, introduction of new tools) has already been picked, but this is unlikely to lead to long term sustainability.
  • The innovation system is still relatively fragmented, in that most actors are experiencing the same system in different ways. New approaches are needed.
  • The Canadian Public Service has made some significant steps towards a more systemic approach to public sector innovation. However, it is likely that without continuous efforts and direction the innovation system will not be able to consistently and reliably contribute to the delivery of the best outcomes for citizens.

Given that much is still being learnt about public sector innovation, the report avoids a prescriptive approach as to what should be done. It identifies potential areas of intervention, but recognises that the context will continue to evolve, and that the specific actions taken should be matched to the ambitions and intent of the Public Service of Canada.

An innovation system is made up of many parts and contributed to by many actors. The effectiveness of the innovation system – i.e. its ability to consistently and reliably develop and deliver innovative solutions that contribute to achieving the goals and priorities of the government – will depend on collective effort, involving action from different actors at the individual, organisational, and system levels.

While a range of options are put forward, the aim of this review, and the guidance included within it, is to help provide a reflection of the system so that all actors can see themselves within it. This can provide a contribution to the ongoing discussion and deliberation about what the collective aim for innovation is within the Public Service of Canada, and how everyone can play a part, and be supported in that….(More)”.

New study on eGovernment shows how Europe’s digital public services can do better


European Commission: “Today the European Commission published a new study, the eGovernment benchmark report 2018, which demonstrates that the availability and quality of online public services have improved in the EU. Overall there has been significant progress in respect to the efficient use of public information and services online, transparency of government authorities’ operations and users’ control of personal data, cross-border mobility and key enablers, such as the availability of electronic identity cards and other documents.

EU average scores on different eGov criteria such as user centricity, transparency and cross-border mobility

10 EU countries (Malta, Austria, Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Portugal, Denmark) and Norway are delivering high-quality digital services with a score above 75% on important events of daily life such as moving, finding a job, starting a business or studying. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are outperforming the rest of the countries in terms of digitisation of the public administrations and adoption of online public services....

Further efforts are notably needed in cross-border mobility and digital identification. So far only 6 EU countries have notified their eID means which enables their cross-border recognition….(More) (Report)”