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Leiden researchers present at the expert session Digital Messaging

On 19 May 2022, a debate was held in the Tweede Kamer (Dutch House of Representatives), during which Prime Minister Rutte was questioned about the news that he removed text messages from his phone on a daily basis. The Prime Minister announced during the debate that the Dutch advisory body on transparency and information systems would be consulted.

The Advisory Body is currently working on their recommendations and has organised a number of expert sessions. This week, Louis Honée and Annemarie Drahmann were present at one of those sessions.

The main question during the expert session was what the consequences are for using digital messaging services such as SMS, WhatsApp, and Signal for the Open Government Act (Woo) and the Public Records Act. Messaging services enable efficient and fast communication, especially for key figures in public administration. At the same time, it is a challenge to make sure that the information that is exchanged remains permanently accessible to allow reconstructions of how decisions came into being at a later date. There are also several societal, administrative, organisational, technological, and legal aspects regarding the permanently accessibility of digital messaging that need to be addressed.

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