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Useful and secure digital identities for all areas of life and their properties

Digital identities are with us every day. The technical possibilities are very diverse. How can digital identities enable secure identification for eGovernment and eHealth on the one hand and guarantee privacy protection on the other? Digital identities enable access to the digital society. They represent persons, organisations and objects in the digital world and are used in more and more areas of life. Each of us thus has – consciously or unconsciously – digital representations of our person for various purposes. Be it the Cumulus card from Migros, the SwissPass from the SBB or the SIM card in a mobile device, all these digital identities accompany us every day. Digital identities are very diverse. From a technical point of view, the spectrum ranges from user name/password combinations and smart cards to biometric means of identification and hardware-based certificates such as SuisseID. What characteristics should a digital identity have? A digital identity should be useful. It is a tool to be able to perform certain functionalities in the digital world. For example, with a digital identity you can prove who you are and thus use certain online services. You can digitally sign documents or data – analogous to a handwritten signature. With other, more passive identities, you can collect benefits from bonus programmes or use other real-world services, such as public transport. For some applications in the digital world, such as eGovernment, you have to be sure who is behind a digital identity. Identities, such as SuisseID, can be used as a digital ID. To do this, the identities used must be secure and trustworthy. With an identity based on a SuisseID, you can be 100% sure that you are dealing with the corresponding person. Trust in SuisseID is based on the one hand on a certified registration process, where you have to be present in person, and on the other hand on the security of the technologies used. For example, a hardware token, the SuisseID stick, prevents the SuisseID identity from being stolen. Only those who have the stick and the matching PIN can use the SuisseID. This is referred to as 2-factor authentication. A state-recognised electronic identity enjoys the highest level of trust. Here, the state assumes responsibility for registration, which is usually linked to the application for an identity document, for example an identity card or passport. But the high level of trust and security of a digital identity comes at a price: higher costs as well as complicated handling and an elaborate registration process. This usually results in poor user acceptance. Therefore, user-friendliness should always be weighed against security requirements when using digital identities. For example, a high level of security can be dispensed with for an online subscription to a daily newspaper, as the potential for damage is low. Privacy must be protected The data collection frenzy of some service providers on the Internet and various hacker attacks on customer data in recent months have strengthened the desire to protect privacy and anonymity. Particularly as it is now very difficult, and in some cases almost impossible, to remove data from the digital world once it has been disclosed. A good digital identity therefore also makes it possible to move anonymously or pseudonymously in the digital world. With these methods, the true identity of a person is hidden and only the characteristics that are essential for the use of a service, such as age, are revealed. This makes it possible to control access to inappropriate content for minors without knowing their name or gender. The disclosure of the identity (or parts of it) or the preservation of anonymity thus remains a decision of the person himself. A digital identity is not enough The various possible properties of digital identities make it clear that several identities are needed for the different areas of application. In eGovernment and also in eHealth, it is important to identify citizens and patients unambiguously in order to avoid confusion. Only a state-recognised digital identity or identities at a similarly high level of trust, such as SuisseID or the planned insurance card, which also has a unique identifier, make this possible. In other areas, where the potential for damage is lower, one can also use simpler electronic identities, such as those provided by Google or Facebook. These free identities are mostly based on self-registration with email or SMS confirmation. The personal attributes provided are mostly self-declared. Here, users and server providers alike should be aware of the dangers and risks.

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ECH data standards support the cooperation of all stakeholders in eGovernment

The subsidiarity principle applies to the Swiss public authority landscape. This leads to decentralised structures in very many areas. In contrast to centralised structures, these imply a high demand for data exchange between the information systems of the various authority levels. eCH (cf. 1) promotes the exchange of interested stakeholders (authorities, companies, universities) in order to create relevant specifications for eGovernment solutions. This report addresses the challenge of standardising data. Data along the core capabilities of public authorities Public authorities are active in very diverse and broad areas. If one wants to provide standards on their activities, it is worth doing so along their core capabilities. “eCH-0122 Architecture eGovernment Switzerland: Fundamentals” (cf. 2) provides an overview of the top level of business capabilities of public authorities in section 4.2. These capabilities are divided into:

  • Management skills that support intra- and inter-agency coordination. Examples are planning, processes, analytics ..
  • core technical skills that encompass the substantive agency activities. Examples are education, health, agriculture ..
  • core subject-specific skills of a prerequisite nature that encompass substantive public authority activities that are essential prerequisites for others. Examples are residents, businesses, geo-information ..
  • general services that support public authorities in the performance of their tasks. These include finance, human resources, business processing ..

Data standards can be created for all of these core capabilities. eCH acts as an organisation in a very needs-oriented manner. So far, two areas stand out with regard to data standards. The core capabilities of a prerequisite nature (cf. Figure 1) comprise activities associated with keeping registers. A large set of existing eCH standards falls into this area.

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Figure 1: Overview of core capabilities with prerequisite character (according to eCH-0122)

A high benefit can also be expected from the standardisation of general services. It focuses here on business processing (cf. Figure 2).

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Figure 2: Overview of business processing (according to eCH-0122)

The need for standardisation of the other general services is low, especially since these do not differ significantly from the corresponding activities in business. Real world – semantics – interface The question arises as to what kind of data should actually be standardised. The primary expectation is that the interface between information systems should be standardised. Figure 3 shows the information model from “eCH-0171 Quality model of attribute value confirmation for the eID”. On the far right, the central elements of the interface of this standard are shown in dark blue. The column Semantics shows the meaning of the interface elements. The semantic elements typically persist in information systems (possibly distributed over many information systems as in this concrete example). Following the continuity principle, in computer science the elements of the semantics are usually named the same as those of the real world. Accordingly, the representation of the real world in models is consistently dispensed with. After all, the semantics should represent the real world. In the context of IAM standards, however, this principle is not applied. In the IAM (as shown in Figure 3), the elements of the real world are represented separately. This makes it clear that the semantic elements are information elements that must not be confused with the real world objects. During authentication, the subject must authenticate itself, not the eIdentity.

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Figure 3: Information model (according to eCH-0171)

In eCH, the elements of the semantic level are often described in so-called data standards and the interfaces accordingly in interface standards. During creation, data standards usually enjoy priority over interface standards because the latter have a more restricted field of application. This can also improve consistency between different interface standards that refer to the same data. To ensure that an attribute is encoded in the same way in all interfaces, the data standard sometimes also specifies the exchange format for the attribute (e.g. in eCH-0011, section 4.3.2.2 firstName, exchange format: eCH-0044:baseNameType). The identifiers that uniquely designate a particular instance of reality are very important in interfaces. They are of outstanding importance in cross-organisational cooperation. If the instances can be designated conclusively, they are also standardised accordingly (cf. eCH-0007:cantonAbbreviationType as identifier for a canton, for example). For the other identifiers, the authorities must maintain corresponding directories (cf. e.g. eCH-0097:organisationId as identifier for a UID entity). Description languages eCH uses internationally recognised standards as far as possible. For the description of data, either the Unified Modelling Language (UML) (cf. 3) or an XML schema (cf. 4) is used in the standards. UML is used more for overview diagrams. XML schemas are used especially where the concrete specification of XML documents as they are exchanged at interfaces is the main concern. The best practice “eCH-0035: Design of XML Schemas” gives many hints on the design of XML schemas in the context of eCH (and beyond). As far as possible and available, the XML schemas associated with the standards are published in versions at http://www.ech.ch/xmlns. These will remain there until a standard is repealed. Process The Reporting Section has so far produced most of the data and interface standards for eCH. The entry into force of the Federal Act on the Harmonisation of Registers of Residents and Other Official Registers of Persons (Register Harmonisation Act of 23 June 2006) has created a very great need for standardisation. The implementation of the Act has greatly advanced the integration of the SW systems of the various federal levels and thus also the standardisation of the data to be exchanged. In order to keep up with the changes in the context, the standards are sometimes updated annually. For example, “eCH-0011: Data standard personal data” is now at version 8.1. The consistent processing of requests for change (RfC) and the adoption of the interdependent documents have in the meantime become a task in itself, on whose correct implementation a great many authorities and their software suppliers directly depend. Cross-organisational change management poses corresponding challenges for those involved. Use The creation and maintenance of data standards in the area of core capabilities with prerequisite character (cf. Figure 1) shows how complex the integration of SW solutions in federal structures can be. The wide scope of these data standards – they are ultimately used more or less intensively in all official processes – is a challenge for all those involved. At the same time, however, their broad usage possibilities lead to an enormous increase in effectiveness and efficiency in the entire public authority landscape and e-society. Last year, more than 3,000 partners at the federal, cantonal and municipal levels, and in some cases also companies, handled well over five million transactions electronically, actively using the data standards for data exchange. As in the last few years, there are signs of further growth of around one million transactions in 2014. These data are exclusively transactions processed via Sedex. Everything that is exchanged via any user interface in applications with public authority employees, citizens or companies is not counted here. All in all, the data standardisation efforts to date are only at the very beginning. The current situation of standardisation in relation to all business capabilities of public authorities shows that there is still a lot to be done.


Sources

  1. www.ech.ch
  2. All eCH documents mentioned in this text can be found at ech.ch. The easiest way to access the documents is to search the Internet for their abbreviation “eCH-xxxx”.
  3. http://www.omg.org/spec/UML/, also as ISO standard 19505-1:2012 and 19505-2:2012.
  4. http://www.w3.org/standards/xml/Schema.

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Swiss Post brings its core business into the digital world

People entitled to vote cast their ballots online, courts and lawyers exchange case files electronically, and citizens have access to their patient dossier anytime and anywhere. As a traditional transmitter of confidential information, Swiss Post is working to implement this future with modern and secure solutions. In the areas of e-health, e-voting and perhaps soon also e-justice, it is making its contribution to Switzerland’s future infrastructure. Swiss Post has been transmitting sensitive documents such as voting documents, medical reports and court decisions for many years. It does so reliably, securely and in absolute confidence within the framework of postal secrecy. Based on social and technical progress, the legislator wants to advance e-government: In future, authorised users should be able to access medical and legal documents regardless of time and place, and those entitled to vote should be able to vote and elect via the Internet. Swiss Post also wants to assume its reliable intermediary function in e-government. To this end, it is currently developing solutions in various areas, always close to its core business – the secure and reliable transport of confidential information. E-Health The federal government’s eHealth Switzerland strategy wants all Swiss residents to have an electronic patient dossier at their disposal. Everyone can view their dossier at any time and from any location and grant selected health actors access to their medical data. An electronic patient dossier is thus not only practical, but also increases the patient’s self-determination. In addition, it improves the quality of treatment through the availability of relevant health data and ensures greater cost efficiency in the healthcare system. With the new Federal Electronic Patient Dossier Act (EPDG), uniform framework conditions for the introduction of the electronic patient dossier were established throughout Switzerland. The Confederation defines technical and procedural requirements that enable a standardised and secure exchange of health data. National and international standards ensure that data can also be exchanged between e-health platforms of different providers in a completely transparent manner, provided that the patient authorises this. Parliament passed the EPDG practically unanimously in the 2015 summer session. It is expected to come into force in 2017. As part of a pilot project, Swiss Post, together with the canton of Geneva, developed an electronic patient dossier back in 2011 that meets the requirements of the Confederation. It is based on the e-health solution vivates and is currently in operation in the canton of Geneva under the name MonDossierMedical. The solution covers the requirements of the eHealth Switzerland strategy, but its scope of services clearly goes beyond the electronic patient dossier. A total of five optional modules are available to medical service providers. By using them, they can increase their efficiency, save costs and improve the quality of treatment.

  • Hospital referral: This allows doctors to refer their patients directly to the hospital using their practice software, via the Internet portal or, as before, by fax, letter or e-mail. The hospital receives all referrals digitised on a platform and can forward them internally quickly and securely to the departments involved. This can save several dozen francs per referral.
  • Treatment plan: People who are dependent on prolonged treatment due to illness – whether for care, rehabilitation or regular check-ups with various specialists – can access all the information they need on the platform. The same applies to the treating specialists.
  • Medication: For chronically ill people, medication is often complex and must be strictly adhered to. With an electronic medication plan, all professionals can view a patient’s existing medications – if the patient has authorised them to do so – and thus prevent unwanted interactions or duplicate prescriptions.
  • Report transfer: Medical reports are sent in encrypted form to one or more recipients. These can view the data or automatically load it into the existing information system. In this way, structured and unstructured patient data can be transferred from system to system in a highly automated way.
  • Patient dossier according to EPDG: Essentially, the patient dossier covers the entirety of the other modules by connecting all elements and granting the patient access to the decentrally available data.

E-health is about more than just making software available. Different organisations, institutions and citizens must be identified, connected to e-health platforms and networked with each other in a market-neutral way. It is a matter of connecting the physical world with the digital world. With its solution, Swiss Post already meets the applicable requirements. Politically and in the market, it is active and well networked, but it always takes a neutral stance in the healthcare sector. In addition to a growing core team that develops the e-health solution internally and supports customers and projects, various partner companies and in-house departments such as Group IT are also working in the background. The solution developed by Swiss Post has proven itself in practice: several hundred users register for the Geneva MonDossierMedical every month. In the canton of Vaud, Swiss Post operates vivates, the communication platform between hospitals, the network of doctors and the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV). In Ticino, the patient dossier for cancer patients runs reTIsan via vivates, and in Aargau, referral management between doctors in private practice and the cantonal hospitals of Aarau and Baden. Swiss Post thus already has productive medical platforms in use in several cantons and in three language regions of Switzerland, which are based on individual or several modules of the vivates solution. Due to the high sensitivity of personal medical data, the requirements for security and confidentiality in the healthcare sector are particularly high. By law, access to health data requires a strong authentication tool for both patients and medical professionals. SuisseID, which was co-founded and co-operates with Swiss Post, is one of several possible instruments. Information security and data protection have the highest priority at vivates, even beyond authentication. All data is transmitted exclusively in encrypted form. Swiss Post operates highly secure IT, communications and logistics infrastructures throughout Switzerland and therefore has the necessary competencies to transport data worthy of protection in the trust of the various actors. These competencies benefit all eGovernment solutions from Swiss Post. E-Justice E-justice encompasses the exchange of case files, court orders and pronouncements of judgement. In its response to the motion by Councillor of States Pirmin Bischof in 2013, the Federal Council welcomed uniform requirements throughout Switzerland. In connection with the revision of the Federal Act on Electronic Signatures (ZertES; SR 943.03), the Federal Council issued various mandates for the preparation of a legislative package to promote electronic commerce. Some of these legal bases are still being drafted. Electronic file inspection should allow authorised actors outside the court – for example lawyers and insurance companies – to inspect legal case documents quickly and without complications. In its catalogue of requirements, electronic legal transactions thus have numerous parallels to the electronic patient file in the health sector. Swiss Post therefore wants to provide its own e-justice solution, which is technically based on the e-health solution vivates and adopts its security features. The project is currently still in an early development phase and will only be offered on the market at a later date. E-voting For many decades, Swiss Post has been delivering voting and election documents to voters around 20 million times a year. Since the early 1990s, it has taken over the transport of postal votes. It is therefore predestined to provide the corresponding services electronically in e-voting.

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As a hub between the players in the voting process, Swiss Post simplifies the processes in e-voting

The implementation of e-voting is basically a matter for the cantons. But here, too, the Confederation ensures uniform specifications. On 13 December 2013, the Federal Council revised the provisions for conducting trials of e-voting. The Ordinance on Political Rights (VPR, SR 161.11) entered into force on 15 January 2014. The new legal foundations define the conditions for the expansion of the electronic voting channel. In particular, the security requirements for the technical solutions with regard to verifiability and auditing were increased. Swiss Post has been evaluating business models for electronic voting since 2012 and is currently developing its own e-voting platform together with a Spanish technology partner. Due to the very high requirements in the area of security and encryption, Swiss Post has chosen a partner that has been a global leader in e-voting for 15 years with its core competence in cryptography. It owns joint intellectual property rights from the joint further development of the solution. The Swiss election and voting system and the demands that the software must meet cannot be covered by a standard product. Swiss Post’s e-voting solution is therefore rather software developed specifically for the Swiss market with an internationally proven technology base, which above all provides the required security features. Two important points are at stake here: Election manipulation must be prevented and the secrecy of the ballot and voting must be guaranteed at all stages of the process. On 31 August 2015, the cantonal government of Neuchâtel decided to rely on the Swiss Post solution in future – and thus on a fully developed second-generation solution. The decision is logical, as Neuchâtel works with the same technology partner for its previous pilot platform and corresponding synergies result. In parallel, Swiss Post is seeking dialogue with other cantonal authorities in order to clarify interests and requirements and to establish additional partnerships. The electronic transformation of the core business With its commitment to eGovernment, Swiss Post does not want to move away from its core business, but rather to transform it into the future. For many years, it has been an established intermediary for information that is so sensitive that the Confederation and customers insist on high security standards. Every year, Swiss Post transports millions of ballots as well as medical and court records to the satisfaction of the stakeholders involved. A satisfaction it does not want to rest on. New technological possibilities and social change are constantly changing the needs of customers. The demand for digital services is increasing accordingly. Swiss Post wants to continue to meet the needs of its customers in the near and distant future. It has therefore initiated numerous projects to offer its services in both the physical and digital worlds in the future. What its delivery staff delivers to the door or collects from the customer today, Swiss Post will also transport over the Internet with the same care in the future. It is foreseeable that both worlds will continue to exist in parallel for several decades. That is why Swiss Post is consistently expanding the physical-digital interface in particular. The classic physical and the new digital offers do not exist in isolation from each other, but are meaningfully interlinked as a holistic system: If the need arises, Swiss Post digitises physical documents in its data centres or produces on-demand printed matter from electronic data. With its physical-digital solutions, Swiss Post makes the transition to the age of electronic information exchange easier for the Swiss population. In addition, it reduces costs and simplifies processes with an efficient and secure flow of information between all actors in the public sector. A corresponding declaration of intent can also be found in Swiss Post’s vision: “We are making a significant contribution to a modern infrastructure in Switzerland” The e-government solutions currently being developed are an important part of this modern infrastructure. However, Swiss Post is not breaking new ground in e-government. With Swiss Post Solutions, it is one of the world’s leading providers in the area of document management. And it has a great deal of know-how in secure digital transmission – for example with products such as the secure e-mail IncaMail and SuisseID, the Swiss standard for secure identification and digital signatures. This means that it already has the technical means and the necessary trust to successfully offer services in eGovernment. In terms of its role in eGovernment, Swiss Post can best be compared with Swisscom, which is also developing corresponding solutions. The fact that competition is emerging in eGovernment – in some areas also between Swisscom and Swiss Post – is desired by the legislator. Alternatives would be for the Confederation to develop the solutions within the administration itself or to concession them to a single provider and bear the costs itself. The chosen competition under strict federal guidelines, however, not only ensures innovative solutions, but also time and again cooperation between the companies. This results in customer-friendly products that are ultimately affordable. Swiss Post is convinced that its products will survive in this competition.

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E-Government-Themen im BFH-Zentrum Digital Society

The BFH Centre Digital Society is concerned with the question of how to create the greatest possible value through digitalisation. This is a broad field. It includes very practical topics such as the intelligent, clean and secure implementation of IT solutions. It includes conceptually concrete topics such as a good design of IT solutions for a given application context and conceptually abstract topics such as the architecture management of large IT systems. It further includes fundamental topics of legal informatics, including the protection of privacy, and even more fundamental questions of legal policy, including how to ensure a fair use of information in our society. And last but not least, it includes philosophical reflection on the interaction of the economy, the state, civil society and the individual. All these perspectives, which are located at different levels of abstraction, should be networked if one wants to create sustainable value through digitalisation. The multi-optional e-government cosmos For us, the e-government question of what the “ideal” state of the future looks like and how we can realise it in practice will remain central in the future. This inherently transdisciplinary question must be examined in multidisciplinary cooperation. Because digitisation is changing both the tasks of administration and the ways in which administration can be organised efficiently and effectively – and in such a dramatic way that delimited monodisciplinary solutions will not get you very far. Because often enough the practice of using technology overturns the legal-theoretical order of things, the disciplines work best at eye level, which is hard enough. Even then, the medium- to long-term future prospects will remain multi-optional unclear because there are extremely opposing trends. For example, the privatisation of currencies, including through Bitcoin, is contrasted with the expansion of state financial control, including through the automatic exchange of information. And in politics, the personalisation of election campaigns with Big Data (already in the USA, among other places) contrasts with the anonymisation of the exercise of power through shitstorms on the internet (in the ACTA case, among others). Applied researchers can only face this situation by gliding back and forth between the communities, i.e. by floating in the multidisciplinary scientific cosmos. New challenges for digital government In the context of digitalisation, two new challenges for the state are of particular interest. One concerns the creation of a public infrastructure for the digital economy. Only if companies have access to information and digital trust and computing services at reasonable prices will the market work. What is decisive is the quality, prices and conditions under which the resources are made available. In the future, it will become one of the main tasks of economic policy to guarantee the availability and customer self-determination (without lock-ins, among other things) of this digital infrastructure. The other challenge comes from the field of geopolitics. The failure of European administrations to anticipate the refugee flows is reminiscent of the failure of the intelligence services to anticipate 9/11. The data were there, their interpretation was not compelling but obvious, but no one used them. As a result, political decision-makers acted without knowledge of the facts – and in Germany and Austria, the administration had to take on tasks within a very short time that had not existed in this dimension before. This is an example of how digital geopolitics is becoming a key task of the state in the ever-shrinking world. General topic: state data strategy Closely related to both challenges is sovereign data management. The boundaries between administration and economy are partially dissolving, which raises the question of data sharing. Sovereign options for action are giving way to constraints, behind which there are often information deficits on the part of the state, which also make meaningful strategic planning for the future impossible. At the same time, the state is forcing more and more data collection on companies in order to be able to control them better. And quite incidentally, the relationship between the administration, parliaments and the sovereign is characterised by a mostly disproportionate transparency. These distortions manifest themselves exemplarily in the non-existence of state data strategies, in the shadow of which even the transfer of quasi-sovereign tasks to private data platforms takes place (as with the deletion order to Google). But a democracy without a data strategy is like a fiction with an expiry date. Therefore, a sensible design of sovereign data management will become a general topic of e-government.

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Good practices and bad practices – not with us!

The architect Christopher Alexander worked intensively on the question of how rooms, houses, districts and entire cities must be built so that they convey liveliness. The result of his research was, among other things, a book for sad and frustrated people – the book “A Pattern Language” written with Sara Ishikawa and Murray Silverstein (collaboration: Max Jaconson, Ingrid, Fiksdahl-King, Shlomo Angel), which, when read in dreary hours, makes one cheerful and cheerful. This book does not contain best practices, but rather frequently occurring good practices, i.e. architectural solutions that have already proven themselves many times. Many of these architectural solutions are not the genius of architects, but everyday common sense. Others belong to the hopefully self-evident basic knowledge of architects. Some are also rather esoteric, and one may not always be able to relate to them. But almost all of them are thought-provoking – about what works and what doesn’t in buildings and cities. Similarity to Cage Christopher Alexander’s approach to the built reminds one of John Cage’s relationship to the sounding – as much as architecture and music are opposites, since the built aims at permanence and the sounding at transience (music sounds and fades, and that is an essential part of its appeal). Cage asks us to listen carefully to sounds in order to recognise their beauty, and he has created chance compositions that take away the importance of the composer. Alexander asks us to look closely at buildings to see the architectural beauty in the non-spectacular, and he has developed principles of good design that in a way also take away the importance of the architect. Alexander’s importance The reason Alexander is important to e-government is first and foremost a historical one. Alexander’s pattern language inspired the design patterns of computer science (“design patterns” of the so-called Gang of Four) and through them the development of pattern languages in all areas of computer science and its applications. In addition, anti-pattern languages describing bad practices were also developed in computer science. Bad practices are not outlandish mistakes in the design of computer science solutions, but common errors that cause serious damage. Just as pattern languages are not above suspicion because they occasionally claim to be esoteric in meaning, anti-pattern languages are not always free from suspicion of serving the exercise of vengeance. Those who write an anti-pattern language book may be tempted to settle one or two scores. More often, of course, unnecessary precision or political correctness celebrate reigns and lead to long-winded descriptions. The emptiness of e-government One would now expect that there would be numerous books on good practices and bad practices in e-government as well. But far from it. On the one hand, the best-practice paradigm still applies, which means that solutions are only interesting as long as they are particularly advanced. Whereby – and this is particularly shocking – poorly built showcase solutions are more interesting as examples than truly excellent solutions that may only emerge years after initial implementation. On the other hand, bad practices are considered a no-go because one has to provide concrete examples and these examples are examples of mistakes that individuals are responsible for. But that is frowned upon as criticism of individuals. The result is a great void in the teaching of e-government – without right or wrong. Right and wrong empathy If more empathy were practised towards the cause itself – instead of empathy with the sensitivities of those who spoil it (I am not excluding myself here) – then e-government could finally become a professional discipline, for the benefit of the cause. It is a matter of course in many disciplines that representatives of their field firstly use standard solutions for problems that amateurs do not even see (professional work uses many patterns), and secondly recognise bad solutions. Only in e-government is such a thing unknown. Thirdly, unsatisfactory solutions that are used in practice due to a lack of better alternatives would no longer be so often unjustly criticised by know-it-all academics. Language for e-government It would therefore be time to leave behind the previous indiscriminateness of good and bad solutions and the trendy value orientation in e-government (OGD good! Mobile good!). Instead, we should concern ourselves with the question of what good practices and what bad practices are in e-government, and then communicate this knowledge to the e-government specialists. Above all, it would be important to look very closely in the future at what constitutes quality and not to be afraid to talk about mistakes. What we need is a model language and an anti-model language for e-government – with their own dialects for project managers, solution designers, engineers and lawyers.

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