Digital Economy

COFACE at the OECD Ministerial meeting on Digital Economy in Mexico

COFACE Families Europe was very pleased to participate in the OECD 2016 Ministerial Meeting on Digital Economy: Innovation, Growth and Social Prosperity held in June in Mexico, to bring the family perspective and to explore new topics and challenges to better understand the impact of digitalisation on families.

The Ministerial Meeting (22-23 June) aimed to move forward the digital agenda in four key policy areas: 1/Internet openness and innovation, 2/Trust in the digital economy, 3/Building global connectivity and 4/Jobs and skills in the digital economy.The OECD incorporated stakeholder inputs through its own advisory committees: Internet technical, Business, Civil society and Trade union actors. COFACE-Families Europe, together with the Civil Society Stakeholder group CSISAC met the day before the Ministerial Meeting (21 June) to engage the OECD, member countries, and others in a dialogue on fundamental social concerns “Towards an Inclusive, Equitable, and Accountable Digital Economy”. Five panels were organised on issues such as Civil Society Emerging Issues and Goals and Consumers and Workers in the Digital Work.

Ana Pérez, COFACE’s Communication Manager attended the meeting and underlined two key issues from the perspective of family associations:

First, the imperative need to systematically consider, whenever data is being processed in any way, whether it may result in discrimination or hitting disproportionately vulnerable groups like migrants, people with disabilities, elderly people, children and so forth. Big Data carries much potential ranging from preventive policies in health or finance, to speeding up advances in research which could save people’s lives.  At the same time, it could result in discrimination in areas such as access to financial services, insurance, employment or even access to housing. Setting strong standards and governance for data processing, which uphold key principles and values of solidarity, mutualisation or socialisation of risk is a major priority for COFACE-Families Europe.

Second, the need to create new indicators to help users navigate the Internet and guide their choices and behaviours online. Just like food labelling and energy efficiency labelling is meant to assist consumers in making better choices, new indicators such as the ratio between advertising and native content, the average amount spent by users on freemium apps or free-to-play games, whether and to what extent data is being sold to third-parties… all of these would help users make choices about the services they use and evaluate whether such services are “good value for time” or “good value for data”, since time and data are “new” forms of online currencies.

More information:
COFACE Policy Briefing – 2016 OECD Digital Economy Ministerial Meeting June 2016, Cancún, Mexico (2016)
Website OECD Ministerial Meeting on Digital Economy: oecd.org/cancun2016

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