International Journal of Electronic Government Research

Policy testing in virtual environments: Addressing technical and legal challenges

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Governments want to improve their policy making process by being able to accurately predict the impact of prospective policy measures to the community. Current e-government tools fail to capture the public opinion as they lack in mass participation. Instead of relying on outdated methods of communicating with the public, governments should embrace Web 2.0 technologies and take advantage of the vast the flows of information available online. In +Spaces, the authors introduce a novel way of accessing and evaluating public opinion by using popular virtual spaces, i.e., 3D Virtual Worlds and Social networks, as testing environments and developing an interface that would allow applications to operate inside them, capturing the reactions of citizens to prospective policies. They present the +Space s platform giving emphasis on technical challenges such as Virtual Spaces interoperability as well as legal requirements related to processing user created data and how the authors addressed them. Copyright © 2012, IGI Global.