Have you ever stopped to think about everything you do that needs digital technology? From e-mails to internet banking, from working on shared documents in the cloud, to accessing government services online, from booking your holidays, to connecting with loved ones, to the annoying chat bot that helps you through the steps to pay your electricity bill.
Digital technologies are virtually everywhere, and their omnipresence affects our societies. “Digital technologies and internet access have a tremendous potential to contribute to address inequalities, but also to exacerbate them when not well governed,” reads the Cities Coalition for Digital Rights website.
Today, it’s clear that digital technologies and the online space present both benefits and risks for people. For example, digital norms and standards are set by global technology companies, who make money by commodifying users’ interactions and communications. It’s also clear that there’s a stronger need to develop frameworks to make sure that human rights exist virtually as well and that we have the tools to enforce them.