The Open Society European Institute (OSEPI) and the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC), along with a diverse group of experts, activists and civil society organisations including Liberties, have released a report focusing on the perspectives of a human-focused digital transformation.
“The disruption of new technologies has triggered entirely new challenges for institutions and regulators, who are increasingly asked to address the impact of the digital revolution on society, protect user rights and agency, and establish the conditions for an open, fair digital market to flourish and stimulate innovation that benefits society. In this age of rapid transformation and an increasing loss of trust, the European Union has a unique opportunity to shape the digital transformation and position itself as a global leader and ambitious norm- setter that puts people and the public interest back at the centre of the 21st century revolution,” authors Ursula Pachl (BEUC) and Pamela Valenti (OSEPI) write.
They argue that the next European Commission should move beyond the current focus on the digital single market and individual privacy to look at the wider societal impact of digital technologies.
A strong commitment to rights-based policies and regulation based on the principles of human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, rule of law, human rights, solidarity, justice, inclusion and non-discrimination underpinning the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights will be paramount to ensure that existing offline rights are protected online.
As a result of the wide-scale collaboration, the paper identifies eight priority areas:
- Democracy, Fundamental Rights and Consumer Protection
- A Fair and Competitive Data Economy
- Public Services and Public Funding in Research and Digital Technologies
- Competition Policy
- Artificial Intelligence and Algorithmic Decision-Making (ADM)
- Jobs, Employment and the Future of Work
- Digital Rights in EU Trade Agreements
- Human-centric Technology for Social Good