New technologies, data and ethics
By innovating, the Dutch government wants to be in the lead when it comes to using new digital technologies. At the same time, the government wants to protect citizens and businesses and their rights from any adverse effects these new developments might entail.
Files on this theme
When it comes to the use of data, the government has to set the right example. We prepare a National Data Agenda, detailing how the government as a whole is going to improve its processes for dealing with personal data, open data, and big data. We are going to review how analyzing and combining sets of government data can benefit policy-making and solving social issues. We want to make better use of the possibilities big data has to offer, taking into account rights and public values.
Blockchain is a promising and innovative technology, that has the potential to serve society and government well by protecting basic rights and public values, but at this time much is uncertain, and the promise has not been made good yet. The Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations is conducting research into the topic ‘blockchain and ethics’, to identify possible consequences of using blockchain technology for our public values.
Data Agenda Government
This agenda sets out how data can be used (even) better to improve policy-making and resolve social issues. We also pay specific attention to the protection of public values and fundamental rights. This agenda is called: NL DIGITAAL: Data Agenda Government (in Dutch: Data Agenda Overheid). In the introduction, we describe the context and reasons for creating this agenda. In chapters 1 to 5, we describe our approach to a number of specific themes, each articulated into specific actions. Finally, we discuss the financing and provide an overview of all our actions.
The government wants to make its information and software available and accessible to everybody, in so far as possible. Open data offers non-governmental parties the chance to develop services. Open source software increases transparency about how the governmental systems work, and prevents us from being bound to one or a few suppliers.
The protection of citizen and consumer privacy remains a focal point. Protecting personal data and personal space helps to increase trust in digital services, enabling them to expand. As soon as transparency, control, and the previously mentioned data exchange rules are in place, the legislation to protect privacy can be simplified.
As a guardian of the Constitution, the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK) plays a pivotal role in safeguarding public values. Through legislation and policy, it aims (in collaboration with others) to protect values ranging from transparency to privacy. Digitalisation impacts these public values. It offers numerous opportunities to enhance the quality of life of citizens. However, reports also highlight the potential downsides of digitalisation.