In this talk we will discuss the challenges and opportunities of various digital initiatives and their potential to affect democracy. More concretely, we will discuss the status of Open Government Data, eID, and Online privacy in Austria and in an international context:
Open Government Data (OGD) is a global trend to enable transparency by making public data accessible to citizens, providing trustworthy and transparent information in machine readable form, not least promising to counter populism and "fake news". Austria's OGD initiative is a success story, but also faces many challenges.
Electronic IDs can provide means to make eGovernment and interaction with public institutions more efficient, but depending on how they are implemented, also provide a potential threat to privacy and enable surveillance: this holds both IDs provided by international companies but also for national eIDs: against this background, we shall compare the Austrian eID system with other, alternative models.
Lastly, we shall speak about transparency and accountability of processing of personal information by both private and public institutions. The new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) provides both an opportunity, but also imposes several challenges to the government economically and in terms of preserving the citizens' rights.
Axel Polleres is currently a visiting professor at Stanford under the Distinguished Visiting Austrian Chair Professors program hosted by The Europe Center and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. At his home institution he heads the Institute of Information Business of Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU Wien) which he joined in Sept 2013 as a full professor in the area of "Data and Knowledge Engineering."