Publication Details

Aloudat, A. & Michael, K. (2011). Toward the regulation of ubiquitous mobile government: a case study on location-based emergency services in Australia. Electronic Commerce Research, 11 (1), 31-74.


Mobile alerts and notifications and location-based emergency warning systems are now an established part of mobile government strategies in an increasing number of countries worldwide. In Australia the national emergency warning system (NEWS) was instituted after the tragic Black Saturday Victorian Bushfires of February 2009. NEWS has enabled the provision of public information from the government to the citizen during emergencies anywhere and any time. Moving on from traditional short message service (SMS) notifications and cell broadcasting to more advanced location-based services, the paper explores the major issues faced by government, business and society at large, toward the realization of a fully fledged system for personal mobile devices. This qualitative study contains two phases: phase 1gathered issues from the general public via an open-ended survey question, and phase 2 gathered issues from key informant interviews. The data was analysed using both qualitative and quantitative content analysis. The results are presented in a narrative form granting detailed insight into the main issues into deploying a mobile government application. The complex interplay between government agencies, telecommunications carriers and the Australian public is presented, ultimately leading down a path of regulation. By adopting a qualitative approach it is hoped that the intimate lessons learnt in the Australian landscape can be applied to other nations as a foundation model towards deployment of other mobile government applications in other contexts. The outcome of the paper is predominantly practical providing a series of recommendations toward the successful deployment of mobile government applications.

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