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Towards morally defensible e‐government interactions with citizens

N Ben Fairweather (Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK)
S Rogerson (Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK)

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society

ISSN: 1477-996X

Article publication date: 1 November 2006

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Abstract

This paper looks at citizen‐facing e‐government. It considers how the non‐discretionary nature of the citizen’s relationship with government makes citizen‐facing e‐government different from business‐consumer e‐commerce. Combined with the moral basis of the state, the paper argues that there is an obligation for the state to set an example, which should affect the design of citizen‐facing e‐government, with design‐for‐all being an appropriate philosophy. Other consequences should include a preference for open standards and a wariness of unintentional endorsement of commercial products. E‐government should also offer a good level of data protection and security, and has a role in educating citizens in matters of computer security. Advantages and disadvantages that may come from e‐government adoption are considered, including a number of ways in which cost savings and increases in convenience may be achieved. There are brief discussions of questions of distribution of the benefits of e‐government adoption and of the relationship of e‐government to e‐democracy.

Keywords

Citation

Ben Fairweather, N. and Rogerson, S. (2006), "Towards morally defensible e‐government interactions with citizens", Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, Vol. 4 No. 4, pp. 173-180. https://doi.org/10.1108/14779960680000290

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited