Data edge cases

Governments face unique policy and technology challenges related to the protection of sensitive categories of people. Such categories include witnesses in protection programmes, at risk children or spouses, and undercover law enforcement officers.

These “edge cases” raise unique policy and technology challenges for governments, with particular reference to personal data and identity practice.

Challenges that need to be addressed include how data are best protected as they are moved from legacy to modern systems and ingested into analytical engines. Any re-platforming needs to take place without losing essential security and protective contexts, together with ensuring the longitudinal forensic legal integrity and assurance of data.

Stance is examining a range of technologies and identifying limitations with the suitability of emergent technologies such as blockchain outside of the very restricted domain of distributed transaction ledgers in financial markets.

We are considering the potential policies and technologies capable of meeting the often conflicting demands of improving public services and the problematic impact of proposals around computational irreversibility for public registers as a single source of “truth” versus the need to accommodate these essential edge cases.

As well as considering technological use within government, Stance is also examining the impact of external developments, such as the pervasive digital footprints created and left through digital interactions such as social media; cross-border biometrics capture by foreign governments; and the impact of the commoditisation and diffusion of technologies such as facial recognition and online behavioural analytics in undermining and compromising government efforts to fulfil its obligations to secure and protect sensitive categories of people.


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