Tech, gov leaders to debate e-gov privacy
- By Daniel Keegan
- Jul 03, 2000
State and local government and technology leaders will debate electronic
government privacy issues, such as public-key infrastructure security, digital
signatures and policy statements, in a new e-Government Web Privacy Coalition.
The coalition, formed by NIC Technologies, a leading e-government company,
will be composed of 10 state and local government professionals and five
private sector workers.
"The coalition needs to look at how to protect citizens and businesses
from having data in an insecure environment," said Rich Phillips, NIC's
director of corporate communications. Phillips said that by protecting the
public's information, their confidence will grow, and "e-government can
The coalition has two goals:
* Identify and publish preferred practices to promote privacy standards,
confidentiality and the preservation of public trust.
* Create an independent organization to develop and oversee a voluntary
certification program for government World Wide Web portals and e-government
applications. The organization would award a privacy seal to government
sites that meet the minimum standards.
Although the coalition is being formed by a private-sector company and
will have five private-sector members, Phillips said NIC believes that "government
should be the policy-maker." By having two-thirds of the coalition public-sector
representatives, he said the coalition would meet this goal. The private
sector's role is important as well, he said, because they must follow the
The coalition will first meet on July 12 and will issue an initial report
within 30 days, Phillips said. The private-sector members will include
representatives from Cisco Systems Inc., Compaq Computer Corp., Digital
Signature Trust Co. and Oracle Corp.
Public-sector members have not been named yet because many need approval
from government boards. Phillips said that about 95 percent of public-sector
personnel have been contacted about the coalition and many expressed interest.
They will be announced by the end of the month.
The Progress & Freedom Foundation, a think tank that studies state
e-government efforts, will serve as an adviser to the coalition.