BLOG POST

May 13, 2022

A Safer Future: Enhancing Citizens’ Trust in a Digital World

As the digital lives of citizens become richer and more complex, forward-looking governments are navigating the challenges of protecting their citizens in the digital world by making the internet safer, making data more private and making networks more secure. PUBLIC is deeply invested in this mission, and supports the UK and international public sector across these areas through its Privacy, Security and Online Safety team.

What is our mission?

PUBLIC exists to help reimagine and build digitally enabled public services. At the core of this mission statement is an assumption that government must deliver to citizens wherever they are. Central to this is their experience online. Across jurisdictions, networks and systems, bad actors threaten citizens online. Governments globally have a duty of care to their citizens in protecting their personal data (Privacy), securing their networks (Security) and tackling harmful content and behaviour online (Online Safety). PUBLIC’s Privacy, Security and Online Safety team has been built with the expertise to support governments in achieving policy outcomes in this space. From policy development to product implementation and beyond, we have the experience to help deliver the right approach. 

How can we help?

PUBLIC works closely with governments as an end-to-end partner, delivering policy outcomes in complex areas of digital, data and innovation. We’re currently helping the UK government solve strategic problems across the following domains: 

Online Safety: PUBLIC is the pre-eminent digital transformation player in the Online Safety space. There are a number of public sector challenges present in this harm space, such as:

  1. Preparing for Day 0 of Online Safety legislation through data and product standards 
  2. Supporting programmes and policy interventions to help mature the Safety Tech sector and tackle priority harm types and use cases

PUBLIC’s work in Online Safety therefore consists of a number of varied initiatives, working with Government and the Safety Tech sector to design and build solutions to these challenges. We’ve helped develop taxonomies, product evaluation and standards guidance to promote the development of technical solutions to counter online harms.

Security: PUBLIC’s expertise on security in the public sector spans a number of broad digital challenges. Areas of expertise include mis/disinformation, where we convene thought leaders and Safety Tech providers to advise the public sector on how to counter and curb the spread of online disinformation, and cybersecurity, where we deliver workforce transformation initiatives to upskill public sector bodies in cyber awareness and resilience.  

Privacy: In this space, PUBLIC supports public sector organisations in opening up new data use cases and improving secure, private data collaboration . In particular, we work with innovators to unlock the power of data for the public sector, while safeguarding personal data through privacy-enhancing technologies, such as differential privacy, trusted research environments and homomorphic encryption.  

How do Privacy, Security and Online Safety fit together?

These diverse digital policy areas are connected by common themes and overlapping challenges. Privacy, Security and Online Safety are each government-driven markets, with shared needs for regulators and legislators to  intervene for national security, citizen wellbeing and the public good. Both policy and the technology solutions to enable regulatory compliance are only just emerging, with market forces often insufficient to stimulate technological innovation in government priority areas, such as content moderation of child abuse material in end-to-end encrypted environments. 

PUBLIC brings the best of digital innovation to the public sector by recognising these similarities, as well as the differentiators between these domains. We also work to embed and promote the principles of “private, secure and safe by design” across our transformation work, as part of responsible product development and service design. 

Capabilities: 

We use tried-and-tested approaches to solving problems in the digital public sector to combat the unique challenges across these issue areas:

What’s coming next? 

We will be publishing a series of blogs over the coming weeks to share some of our flagship research and learnings in these policy areas, starting with child safety in a changing regulatory space. We will be discussing thought leadership on mis/disinformation, privacy enhancing technologies and showcasing case studies in the coming weeks. 

Work with us to build a safer future for citizens. Get in touch jessica@public.io to find out more. 

Partners

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Authors

Photo by the author

Daniel Fitter

Lead, Privacy, Security & Safety

Photo by the author

Jess Taylor

Associate

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