[*see notes below]
While technology offers extraordinary possibilities for humanity, Mr. Guterres warned that “growing digital chaos is benefiting the most destructive forces and denying opportunities to ordinary people.”
He spoke of the need to both expand internet access to the nearly three billion people still offline, and to address risks such as data misuse, misinformation and cyber-crime.
“Our personal information is being exploited to control or manipulate us, change our behaviours, violate our human rights, and undermine democratic institutions. Our choices are taken away from us without us even knowing it”, he said.
The UN chief called for strong regulatory frameworks to change the business models of social media companies which “profit from algorithms that prioritize addiction, outrage and anxiety at the cost of public safety”.
He has proposed the establishment of a Global Digital Compact, bringing together governments, the private sector and civil society, to agree on key principles underpinning global digital cooperation.
Another proposal is for a Global Code of Conduct to end the infodemic and the war on science, and promote integrity in public information, including online.
HIFA profile: Richard Fitton is a retired family doctor - GP, British Medical Association. Professional interests: Health literacy, patient partnership of trust and implementation of healthcare with professionals, family and public involvement in the prevention of modern lifestyle diseases, patients using access to professional records to overcome confidentiality barriers to care, patients as part of the policing of the use of their patient data
Email address: richardpeterfitton7 AT gmail.com
[*Notes from HIFA moderator (Neil PW):
1. The above is an extract from a longer article on the UN News website. Read in full: https://news.un.org/en/story/2022/01/1110292
2. Register for UN Data Governance webinar: Revisiting and adapting data governance and statistical legal frameworks to the new data era