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How digital technology is easing the burden of confinement [Policy Podcast]

Written by Mar Negreiro,

© Stanisic Vladimir / Adobe Stock

The coronavirus pandemic is bringing an unforeseen acceleration in the digital transformation of societies around the world. This is the first pandemic in history in which digital technologies are being used on a massive scale to keep people connected while in isolation, allowing them to telework, follow online courses, shop online or consult health professionals from home. As a result, internet traffic has increased substantially since confinement began. According to EU Member States’ national regulators, operators have so far been able to manage this surge, while also introducing many exceptional measures, such as temporarily removing broadband data caps and making extra data and free online content available.

The current crisis has highlighted the importance that upgraded telecoms networks and 5G will have for societies and economies. Furthermore, now that confinement has started to ease, it is increasingly clear that digital technology will continue to play a very important longer-term role in controlling the spread of the coronavirus. The scope of contact-tracing apps is likely to expand, and teleworking, telehealth and e-learning are likely to become more prevalent than before.

However, the most popular digital apps, whether for e-commerce, social media, videoconferencing or contact tracing are not of EU origin, posing concerns for the EU’s digital dependency, competitive advantage and data privacy. In fact, the coronavirus crisis has further consolidated the existing dominance of ‘Big Tech’.

The pandemic has further exacerbated existing issues; for instance, the digital divide has broadened further and there has been a global rise in cybersecurity incidents. The EU is poised to tackle these issues, while at the same time embracing the digital transformation in our lifestyles and allowing the internet to play a critical role in defeating the virus.


Read the complete briefing on ‘How digital technology is easing the burden of confinement‘ in the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.

Listen to policy podcast ‘How digital technology is easing the burden of confinement’ on YouTube.

 

Discussion

3 thoughts on “How digital technology is easing the burden of confinement [Policy Podcast]

  1. Interesting. This looks super cool. I haven’t read it all yet, but I’ll be back to read the rest of it.

    Posted by Roger Peterson | November 6, 2020, 11:31
  2. The internet and other digital media really played a big role in keeping things together for a lot of people during the lockdown. Even in isolation, people can still feel connected with their network through their digital devices, enabling them to interact, socialize, and work even amidst the pandemic. Through the internet and other technological advancements, people are enabled to continue their outside world life at home, which really helped keep people sane in isolation.

    Posted by Brett Gordon | October 14, 2020, 02:39

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