Building Trust in Digital Government: Data, Collaboration and Identity

Piers Kelly
February 7, 2023

The digital transformation of the public sector has created numerous opportunities for governments to increase their efficiency and provide better services to citizens. However, it has also presented new challenges, particularly when it comes to building trust in digital government. In this article, we will explore how data, collaboration, and identity can be leveraged to build trust in digital government, while addressing the privacy concerns associated with the implementation of digital identity.

Collaboration in meeting setting

Privacy Concerns with Digital Identity in Government

The implementation of digital identity in government has raised concerns about privacy, data protection, and security. Governments collect vast amounts of personal data, and there is a risk that this data could be misused or fall into the wrong hands. To address these concerns, governments must ensure that their digital identity systems are secure, transparent, and protect the privacy of citizens.

One of the ways to do this is by implementing data protection-by-design principles in the development of digital identity systems. This means that privacy considerations are integrated into the design and development process from the outset, and the system is designed with the highest possible level of security and privacy in mind.

Another way to address privacy concerns is by implementing data protection regulations, such as the UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which sets strict rules for the protection of personal data. This includes giving citizens control over their data and the right to access and delete their personal information.

Collaborating with Governments on the World-Wide Stage


International collaboration is essential for the development of digital identity globally. Governments must work together to develop common standards and best practices for the implementation of digital identity systems. This includes sharing information and experiences, and working together to develop global privacy and security standards.

The United Nations (UN) is one of the organisations that has been working to promote international collaboration on digital identity. The UN has established the Identity for All (ID4All) initiative, which aims to provide a secure, inclusive, and user-centric digital identity for all people. The ID4All initiative is working with governments, civil society organisations, and private sector companies to develop a global framework for digital identity.

Barriers to Success in Data Sharing and Collaboration


One of the biggest barriers to success in data sharing and collaboration is the lack of trust between governments and other stakeholders. Governments must work to build trust with citizens and other stakeholders, and demonstrate that they are committed to protecting their privacy and security. This requires transparent and open communication, and a commitment to accountability and transparency.

Another barrier is the lack of standardisation and interoperability between different digital identity systems. This can make it difficult for different systems to communicate and exchange data, which can hinder the effectiveness of data sharing and collaboration. To overcome this, governments must work together to develop common standards and protocols for digital identity systems, and ensure that they are compatible and interoperable.

Reforms Needed to Improve Data Sharing Practices

To continue improving data sharing practices, governments must implement reforms that enhance trust, privacy, and security. This includes implementing privacy-by-design principles in the development of digital identity systems, and developing common standards and protocols for digital identity.

Governments must also work to improve their data sharing networks, and make it easier for different systems to communicate and exchange data. This can be achieved by implementing open data initiatives, which make public data available for free and open access. This will not only improve citizen trust and enhance user knowledge, but it will also support innovation and economic growth.

Leveraging Open Data to Improve Citizen Trust

The public sector can leverage the power of open data to improve citizen trust by making public data more accessible and transparent. Open data initiatives can increase the availability of government data and make it easier for citizens to access information about government activities and services. This can help to build trust in government by making it easier for citizens to hold government accountable and understand the decisions and actions of government agencies.

In addition, the public sector can use open data to improve citizen services by making it easier for citizens to access information and services online. For example, the public sector can use open data to develop online portals and mobile apps that provide citizens with access to information about government services, as well as tools for tracking the status of their requests and feedback.

Finally, open data can also help to improve citizen knowledge by making data about government activities and services more easily accessible and understandable. For example, the public sector can use open data to create visualizations, dashboards, and other tools that help to make data about government activities and services more accessible and understandable to citizens.

In conclusion, data, collaboration, and identity are essential for building trust in digital government. Governments must work to address privacy concerns associated with digital identity, collaborate with other governments and stakeholders on the world stage, and implement reforms to improve data sharing practices. By leveraging the power of open data, the public sector can improve citizen trust, user knowledge, and enhance user services, which will help to build a more transparent and accountable digital government.

Join the public sector technology community at DigiGov Expo where we discuss in detail, how to build trust in digital governments, using data, collaboration and identity. Registration is free for the public sector.