Trusting Datification Through Labification

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Department of Social Sciences


Trust is both an ongoing challenge for governments, and a ubiquitous term among civil servants with public debates around whether trust in government is declining. This has been exacerbated by big data and different technology and communications platforms, with public failures in privacy or use of the data potentially contributing to declining trust in government. Big data presents new opportunities and challenges for government agencies in how they function and deliver services. This chapter examines the trust and big data literature, describing the current state of play internationally. It then questions whether the trend of policy innovation labs (PILs) can provide new pathways forward for government in the management of data, and retaining citizen trust. PILs play a critical role in governments’ attempts to address big data issues. They often provide an experimental environment where innovative tools and techniques can be employed. Critically, they use tools and techniques that foster trust and collaboration, which means they may go some way to address the much-debated trust deficit around big data.

Publisher's Statement

© 2020 The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG. Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-03008-7_77-1

Publication Title

The Palgrave Handbook of the Public Servant