IGF 2022 WS #282 Protection of personal data in e-government projects

Thursday, 1st December, 2022 (14:20 UTC) - Thursday, 1st December, 2022 (15:20 UTC)

Organizer 1: Civil Society, African Group
Organizer 2: Private Sector, African Group

Speaker 1: Sizwe Snail, Private Sector, African Group
Speaker 2: Kulesza Joanna, Civil Society, Eastern European Group
Speaker 3: Bridgitte Ndong, Private Sector, African Group
Speaker 4: Elvis Ogah, Technical Community, African Group
Speaker 5: Lucien Pierce, Private Sector, African Group


Break-out Group Discussions - Flexible Seating - 60 Min

Policy Question(s)

In this workshop, we intend to discuss the following: 1. How do e-government projects and initiatives impact on personal data and privacy? 2. How should we hold government departments and institutions accountable when they process personal data of citizens? 3. What the best practices on compliance with data protection in public administration?

Connection with previous Messages:



Targets: Transparency is an important aspect of data protection. how governments process personal data of citizens and what they do with the citizens data must be transparent. This is important for democracy. These discussions will are important in helping develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels.


Governments across the globe are adopting digital solutions to achieve digital transformation of the public sector. From smart cities, e-voting, and e-health, the list of e-government projects being rolled out is endless. One of the notable effects of the COVID-19 pandemic was an acceleration of e-government projects. Central to this digital transformation is the use of personal data and digital identities. Governments are promulgating data protection laws to ensure the privacy and personal data of their citizens is protected. How governments should use personal data should be regulated by these data protection laws. There is a glaring concern in most African countries where e-government projects are being rolled out without proper data protection measures. The challenge is that the absence of robust laws protecting personal data means people’s privacy is potentially infringed. The other challenge is one of enforcement. In the absence of enforcement mechanisms in place, government institutions and departments can unlawfully process personal data without consequences. How then should e-government projects be carried out? Do e-government projects prioritise privacy and the protection of personal data through various means like conducting privacy impact assessments? What is the level of compliance with data protection laws by government departments and institutions who process millions of citizens data daily?

Expected Outcomes

A lot of discussion around data governance and compliance tends to focus on how big tech companies process personal data. There is a tendency to overlook the role of government not only in ensuring that appropriate legal frameworks are in place, but also to spearhead data protection compliance within their own departments and institutions. It is hoped that this workshop discussion will illuminate on how governments are complying with data protection laws within their departments. Such discussions are important especially where most e-government initiatives involve the processing of personal data. This workshop intends to promote and introduce discussions around e-government projects into the broader data governance space. It is hoped for the workshop to promote further follow up events drawing on these discussions.

Hybrid Format: Speakers and attendees are able to attend either virtually or in-person. The workshop requires a video conferencing facility to enable virtual or off-site participation. The conferencing facility will make it possible for virtual attendees to ask questions through the message chat or to unmute and speak. The speakers will have a round table discussion without the need to share any powerpoint presentations or graphics. This will improve the quality of internet connection for attendees with poor internet connection or expensive connection.

Online Participation


Usage of IGF Official Tool.