Lack of confidence in public institutions is hampering digital initiatives

As part of a panel discussion on building trust in the digital economy, Konrad Walser, a senior researcher at FH Bern spoke about the need for government to achieve trust in e-government initiatives by restoring people's belief in the goodwill of government in light of the Edward Snowden revelations.

What kind of institutions can we trust? Should we trust electronic identity and make use of its capabilities? What about e-commerce, and e-gov services? What about Snowden?

There is a huge lack of confidence in public institutions, and to be quite frank that has an impact on whether digital identities are used or not.

We have to think about what we can do from a governmental perspective to encourage people to trust public administration. That isn't only a huge amount of planning in the area of every separate subject, but also public institutions can do better to have more trust in their own institution.

Policy makers have to take into account that the ID system not only consists of technical solutions, but it's a different point of view on how institutions behave, how the pubic behaves, and how we can work together for success.

E-government needs to be an anchor point of economical prosperity. eID ecosystems have to be subject to research, on how they can be made to work for the public, and how they can build trust. We need research on the psychological aspect of this behaviour, and the relationship between stakeholders and the people who use the system.

Let's remember there was Edward Snowden. This disrupts people's trust in institutions, and makes people think "oh, I'm not so happy with security aspects of the system."

The Trust in the Digital World conference runs from 7-8 April, and ITProPortal will be covering the ins and outs of what's being discussed here in the Austrian Chamber of Commerce.