KIRAS Security Research

2013

E-Participation

The aim of this project is to develop an E-Participation platform alongside the different security levels of eID-identification data like user name and password, mobile signature, citizen card (“Bürgerkarte”) and electronic passport with biometric tokens by which different participation scenarios can be realized and strengthen direct democracy

cAt the moment there is no legal basis for the identification of citizens in connection with electronic citizen participation in Austria. However, having a look at other European countries,  some isolated examples for E-Participation applications like the e-voting solution in Estonia, the PIN-TAN procedure in Switzerland or municipal projects like the „Bürgerhaushalt“ (local budget) in Cologne can be drawn upon. Regardless, no platform for the participation of citizens applicable to different eID profiles is currently available in Austria or other European countries.

The  aim of this project is to develop an E-Participation platform alongside the different security levels of eID-identification data like user name and password, mobile signature, citizen card (“Bürgerkarte”) and electronic passport with biometric tokens by which different participation scenarios can be realized and strengthen direct democracy. Another important objective of the project is to further enlarge the acceptance of the existing Austria citizen card for E-Government.

In the context of this project, E-Participation is understood as ICT-backed participation of the society in political decision-making processes. E-Participation can contribute to optimizing administration procedures in citizen participation processes, improving E-Services for citizens and adopting a new quality level of two-way inter-action.

When designing a universal E-Participation platform, by which all new media can be addressed via open and interoperable interfaces, some top-class security requirements are to be tackled: Authentication of all users of the system, authorization of beneficiaries and the protection of the originality (authenticity) and the confidentiality of the surveyed and processed data. In this context one has to refer to variable demand profiles for different E-Participation exercises, which experience diverse characteristics in the contrast pair of disclosure and anonymisation of participating persons and expressedviews (contents).

The goal of the project can only be achieved with a flexible and highly scalable E-Participation eco-system, thereby putting Austria at the forefront of the European Union in e-democracy matters.

Based on the identification and analyses of today’s existing authentication procedures and the security levels associated with them, possible classifications of requirements for citizen participation models will be compiled within the framework of the project.

In parallel, highest security standards for the protection of privacy and legal as well as social framework requirements will be respected and emphasized throughout the project– particularly in terms of an aspired subsequent acceptance.

The highest possible usability and a far-reaching encouragement of users will be the central focus in the course of practicability assessments and feasibility tests, which will be carried out within the framework of a proof of concept.

The singularity of the project – even from a European perspective – is expressed by the fact that for the very first time a systematic exploration and development of concepts and technologies for contemporary E-Participation will be carried out. Taking into account the E-Participation requirements (highest possible participation of citizens, highest security standards) of the demand carrier BM.I (Federal Ministry of the Interior, i.e. Home Office) and its legal scope of work (in the run-up of legislation), the target-oriented assembled consortium from science and industry will consequently gear to leading-edge performance following the principles of user-orientation, data security and liability right. The necessary trust of citizens open for electronic participation in democratic co-determination processes can thereby be underpinned. The high market proximity, e.g. the marketability of the platform for broad E-Participation applications developed during the project, will also open up the economic utilisation options repeatedly claimed in the KIRAS programme.

Project leader
Dr. Maria Leitner
AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
Digital Safety & Security Department

Other Project or Cooperation partner
Bundeministerium für Inneres
Donau-Universität Krems
Österreichische Staatsdruckerei GmbH
rubicon IT GmbH
Universität Wien - Rechtsinformatik

Contact:
AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
Digital Safety & Security Department
Donau-City-Straße 1, 1220 Wien

Web: www.ait.ac.at/it-security
Email: ict-security@ait.ac.at

Dr. Maria Leitner
Tel.: +43-50550-2839
E-Mail: maria.leitner@ait.ac.at

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