Balancing security and privacy in eGovernment services

Kieran Sullivan, Jim Clarke

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Advances in digital technology are increasing the volume of computer data and accelerating the massive integration of software into our daily lives. The widespread interconnection of networks and digital convergence accentuates this computerization process, making computing, telecommunications and audiovisual information increasingly compatible and interoperable. eGovernment services to citizens and businesses can take advantage of these developments. However, security and privacy concerns must be properly addressed if eGovernment services are to be both fully functional and enjoy significant take-up by end-users. These are not straightforward issues, though, and the resolution of the interplay between security and privacy cannot be achieved by a purely technical means. Instead, there is a balance required between the technological and societal elements; of which there has been significant exploration and reflection recently in the EU Trust and Security communities [1]. In the on-line world, the conflict between privacy and security often manifests itself in a debate between anonymity and accountability. This paper expounds on this apparent dispute by describing the properties of anonymity and accountability; presenting an instructive use case; and, extracting some conclusions with regard to the consequences for relevant stakeholders, should either of these two properties triumph over the other. Steps towards quantifying and measuring the various components that comprise security and privacy are also outlined.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2010 IST-Africa
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Event5th IST-Africa 2010 Conference and Exhibition - Durban, South Africa
Duration: 19 May 201021 May 2010

Publication series

Name2010 IST-Africa


Conference5th IST-Africa 2010 Conference and Exhibition
Country/TerritorySouth Africa


  • accountability
  • anonymity
  • e-Government services
  • identity
  • privacy
  • security
  • trust
  • trustworthy ICT


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