A3 Book chapter
A Call for Reflexivity in the Governance of the Finnish eGovernment System Development

List of Authors: Olli I. Heimo, Kai K. Kimppa
Place: Hershey, PA
Publication year: 2013
Book title *: Ethical Governance of Emerging Technologies Development
ISBN: 978-1-4666-3670-5
eISBN: 978-1-4666-3671-2


In this chapter we present four cases of Finnish eGovernment application development in which the ethical approach has either been ignored, or mishandled grievously. The trend in Finnish eGovernment system acquirement has shown to lack reflexivity towards ethical issues. Between all the systems studied, the common denominators have been extended delivery times, increased costs and at best non-functional solutions. Testing, prototyping and analysing the systems has been lean and has only concentrated – interestingly enough – to the fields of functionality. The only discussion about the ethical issues has been between a minority of specialists and civil rights activists, and has been mostly ignored in the procurement of the systems.

Some of these examples contain only clear mistakes and design failures which could have been – at least partially – avoided. Others, like the Case of Finnish biometric passports, show alarming features of lessening both privacy of the citizens and the security of the whole society. The reasons behind the lack of ethical thinking during these design processes is investigated in this chapter.

Last updated on 2019-29-01 at 19:02