Citizens need trust in e-gov for the future of IT

Public confidence in government web services is crucial for the development of IT in Europe, according to an EU parliament member.

Dr. Silvia Adriana Ticau, speaking at ENISA's annual security conference, said that the European public sector was the biggest buyer, biggest service provider and biggest employer when it came to IT.

She focused particularly on e-government, which provides services to citizen and enterprises alike, believing that governments have the job of "leading by example".

Ticau also said that the security of e-government is especially important, because it is the first step of interaction between citizens and public institutions through electronic means.

The loss of trust could be crucial, according to Ticau. "In order to develop an information society we need consumer confidence in ICT," she said.

That means from the very beginning, public bodies must develop secure applications and infrastructure.

"This means the right training, the right personnel and also to have the top-level management for ICT development especially for security," she added.

She stressed the importance of a partnership between the private and public sectors - noting, for example, that private ISPs are crucial to ensuring public networks are secure.

"We have a shared responsibility, and we need a common solution and coherent approach," Ticau said.

International cooperation is also important, and member states must communicate about the transfer of data and privacy legislation.