Trust in digital government: Is the right to make a mistake the answer?

A growing number of public services are becoming digital. However, not all citizens have the literacy, financial means or physical capacity to engage with digital technology in the same way. This concern is particularly visible among vulnerable groups of citizens who mistrust digitization and the growing dehumanization of public services and public law. In an attempt to improve the trust of citizens in digital governments, some countries have tried to develop new policies to ensure that citizens are not sanctioned for not being able to engage with digital services. The French legislator has even recognized a right to make a one-time mistake, provided lists of common online/offline mistakes, and sought the input of citizens for the digitization process. This paper inquires whether this lenient approach to administrative law could promote inclusion in the digital age and could be adopted in other countries in an attempt to increase the trust of citizens in digital government.