In many countries, developing or otherwise, there is a common measure of stigma and aversion to the idea of the government being custodians of citizens’ personal data. The stigma and aversion stems from the fear of draconian surveillance measures that diminish the freedoms of the country’s citizens. Many fictional works, such as George Orwell’s 1984 touched on the subject of mass surveillance and thus, the concept lingers in the public consciousness.
However, despite the fears and anxieties, public data management is a crucial aspect of modern life. Government bureaucracy and administration would simply cease to function without data management. This brings up another valid point regarding government data management: efficiency.
Government administration in most countries still follow a system that would have been relevant in the 20th century. Although digitalization of administration has been in place, the process still remains elusive, particularly in developing countries. Even with digitalization, the limitations of such practices still pervade public sector services.