By Dr. Jaijit Bhattacharya
In providing services to the public and carrying out various functions, governments collect and use a wide range of personal information about their citizens. The introduction of e-government and the electronic delivery of services have further expanded government collection of personally-identifiable data. Thus, more and more government data is being put onto networks and are hence susceptible to violation of the privacy constraints of the data. The government agencies that collect personal information should adopt and maintain adequate privacy practices.
Privacy concerns restrict the free flow of information. Organizations do not want to reveal their private databases for various legal and commercial reasons. Neither do individuals want their data to be revealed to parties other than those they give permission to.
This is specially the case with E-Government, as it is an amalgam of interconnected heterogeneous information systems in which government agencies and public and private sectors exchange a high volume of information. Several government agencies have aggressively adopted information technologies in order to modernize the governments highly fragmented service-centric information infrastructure by improving information flow and the decision-making process. In this paper, we outline these crucial privacy issues and present various solutions that are available.
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