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Citizen Spime

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Governments here in Finland and elsewhere are often struggling with new e-services offered to citizens. From social security projects like Obamacare to electronic voting, we’ve seen millions of euros spent to systems ultimately rejected by end users due to performance and complexity issues.

My fancy national identity card does include an X.509 certificate, but I’m one of the very few people who actually uses it to access government services, when the authentication mechanism happens to work. (Yes, I’ve filed more than ten fault reports.)

Be as it may, offering a new web/mobile service to even just 5 million Finns is a daunting task, requiring careful long term planning what comes to scalability, fault tolerance and forward compatibility.

The BaseN way to support the proliferation of these important services is to model each citizen interaction and produce rigorous measurement data from all transactions, across all government e-services. This data is then analyzed in real time and presented – also in public – as a digital proof that the service is performing as expected.

For example, an e-recipe system should record every authentication, data retrieval, display and creation event with millisecond accuracy. This can be turned into real-time analysis, presented as a dashboard for all users, much like large factories display their work safety figures (no accidents for n days etc.) at their gates. It is time taxpayers get real data how the systems they fund actually work.

Improving the quality of these systems as data sources will be of paramount importance when governments start entering the Spime world, especially in public healthcare applications – the low hanging fruit in reducing government expenditures and improving national health.

//Pasi

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