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Current Practice and Challenges of Data Use and Web Analytics in Online Participations


Information system design and implementation are key factors for electronic participatory processes and procedures. How information systems are designed does not only affect the procedures but also influ- ences the trust building between organizers, operators and participants. In addition, the implementation often has to adhere to legal standards. In this paper, we aim to investigate current practice of data use in on- line participations. In particular, a qualitative analysis is conducted and 18 online participations are investigated on their data use, i.e. use of participant information, cookies and web analytics. The results show that most projects require and request data during site visits (e.g., IP address, browser type) and for active participation (e.g., name, email). The real benefit, however, for the use of web analytics is often unclear. Furthermore, often proprietary solutions for web analytics are used, even tough open source solutions (i.e. that store data locally) exist. For fu- ture projects, it is recommended to not only define but also keep privacy policies updated (according to the used technology) and to specify the purpose and goals of using web analytics.

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Paper in Conference Proceedings or in Workshop Proceedings (Full Paper in Proceedings)
Event Title
Volume 23: Electronic Government and Electronic Participation
Workflow Systems and Technology
Event Location
Guimarães, Portugal
Event Type
Event Dates
Series Name
Volume 23: Electronic Government and Electronic Participation
Page Range
pp. 80-87
September 2016
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