This chapter explores what is happening in societies around datafication and big data. It conceptualises big data and explores some critical issues that scholars have identified. As data-based relationships between government and citizens are not new, the chapter presents a brief history of data-informed government, including three different data legacy systems for smart government. ‘Smartness’ in government is further conceptualised, including the use of algorithms in government, the application of data science, benefits of smart government, and the need for a more comprehensive view on smart government. Governments who want to become smart are being challenged by a number of emerging issues and barriers: these are discussed in this chapter. One of the main emerging issues, the need for an ethical framework, is dealt with in this chapter by reconceptualising Nissenbaum’s theory on contextual integrity: in so-doing, a broader, new ethical framework of contextual integrity is constructed for governments in the digital age and smart governments in particular.