Policy Making in the Digital Age

Feb 21 2018

In the ISOC report on “Paths to Our Digital Future” released in 2017, it is believed that the Internet should empower users with certain abilities which must remain at the heart of the Internet experience for everyone and everywhere. The users must be able to connect, speak, innovate, share, choose and trust.

Like civil society, with the evolution of the digital society and the expansion of the Internet into our economy, governments need to be more active as policymakers. From cybersecurity to societal issues to technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), governments will face a host of new and complex issues that might challenge all aspects of their decision-making. The pressure of security challenges is therefore growing the future of Internet is highly dependent on how the governments respond to this issue.

On the other hand, as there’s a mix of public and private sector services, the roles of responsibilities among governments and private sector is blurred and complicated.

Could this result in the private sector assuming responsibilities that are traditionally those of governments’?

If so, will they be subject to the same accountability and governance mechanisms as governments? In the future Internet economy, the use of IoT and artificial intelligence will increase the need to be vigilant about transparency and accountability in decision-making and governance. With the increase in the more complicated relationships between public and private sectors, transparency and accountability will also be needed to understand and manage.

To what extent, do governments need to work with the new business models and technologies?

Legislation process needs to be accelerated to keep pace with the technological developments. There will be ever increasing pressure on governments to act with the pace of change. Are governments prepared for the drastic changes in the economy, especially in traditional industries most challenged by technology? Government’s tendency to apply legacy regulatory models to new and emerging issues is of particular concern.

Read full report here

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