The VisiOn project makes it easier to check that public administrations are storing personal data responsibly.

Public administrations are providing more and more services online. In order to increase their levels of trust and
accountability, many are also adopting the principles of open government: giving all citizens access to important documents
and decisions. However, people using online government services may be concerned about protecting their data.

Through a digital platform, the Vision Privacy Platform, including a Privacy Level Agreement, the EU-funded VisiOn (Visual Privacy Management in User Centric Open Environments) project aimed to link citizens with public administrations, making it
easier than ever to track who is managing their personal data, when it is accessed and how it is shared. The project is
therefore not only a tool for e-governance, but also provides a simple means of increasing transparency and trust.

The platform developed by the VisiOn project helps citizens to specify their privacy requirements and check that these are consistent. It provides information about the economic value of their data and notifies them whether the public administration with which they are dealing complies with relevant European laws and regulations. In addition, it makes government administrations aware of privacy risks, including the risks of transmitting data to third party organisations, and monitors the data privacy levels of other public administrative bodies with which it exchanges information.

The project brought together 12 partners from all over Europe, and carried out three pilots. The first, in partnership with the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, involved Italian companies requesting a tax credit in order to recruit high qualified employees, whilst the second focused on the use of (real and simulated) e-data for the provision of services by the municipality of Athens in Greece. With the involvement of two hospitals in Spain and Italy, the third pilot demonstrated how VisiOn could revolutionise the cross-border exchange of patient information.

VisiOn in brief

  • Total Budget: 3 161 000 (EU contribution: EUR 2 748 912.50)
  • Duration: 07/2015-06/2017
  • Countries involved: Italy (coordinator), Germany, Greece, Spain, United Kingdom

Key figures in the European Union

  • According to the EU’s eGovernment Action Plan for 2016-2020, by 2020 public administrations and institutions in the EU should be “open, efficient and inclusive”.
  • Since 25 May 2018, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has applied to the data of all individuals in the EU and EEA.
  • More than 90% of Europeans say they want the same data protection rights across the EU, regardless of where their data is processed.


The European Commission’s eGovernment Action Plan for 2016-2020 aims to ensure that public administrations and public institutions in the EU are open, efficient and inclusive and provide borderless, personalised, secure, user-friendly, end-to-end digital public services to all citizens and businesses by 2020. Borderless, digital public services will make it easier to travel and work across borders, provide information that is accessible to everyone, including elderly and disabled people, meet data protection and privacy standards, and reduce the number of contact points and requests for information.

To fund this, the European Commission’s proposed new Digital Europe Programme allocates EUR 1.3 billion of funding to broaden the use of digital technologies across the EU, including the digitisation of public administrations and services.

Download the full project success story.

Project website