Instituting Data Governance for Advancing Digital Government
Government innovation and digital government are in most cases driven by data. Data security and privacy issues have become significant concerns for both policy makers and citizens. Especially, the recent Facebook data breach incident triggered the debate on how government can effectively supervise big IT companies to protect personally identifiable information (PII) and ensure compliance with data protection laws. Against this background, instituting data governance for advancing digital government has gained even greater importance. Data governance, although the concept is continuously being developed and widely employed by IT sectors for many years, is generally about data standards and policies that manages availability, usability, integrity, and security of the data employed in an organization. It is important to note that data governance is more about the framework and process than simple technical data management capabilities. Data governance for government is rather different from that of business sector, as government is the service provider using PII and also the data generator through its large-scale operations. Government also acts as regulator and guardian of privacy of the users and citizens. It is worthy of the note that many countries have been making strenuous efforts to enhance resilience of IT infrastructure against cyberattacks, as cyberspace security in the contemporary digital era has been elevated to national security in many cases. For effective data governance, developing and updating relevant laws and regulations adapting to the changing digital dynamics and ensuring their compliance is essential, as evidenced by many country practices particularly the recent EU General Data Protection Regulation which has become effective as of May 25, 2018. Governments need to take a holistic and government-wide approach to institute data governance, in collaboration with all relevant stakeholders including private sector, academia, civil society organizations and citizens.
Governance and Public Administration Expert, UNPOG, DPIDG, UN DESA
Park Mi Kyoung
Associate Research and Policy Analysis Expert, UNPOG, DPIDG, UN DESA