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Press Release: Global Inquiry Identifies Agenda to Tackle ‘Six Sins of the Digital Age’

The Fourth Group’s first global inquiry has uncovered Six Sins of the Digital Age – and they’re announcing an agenda to tackle them at their Politics Summit (London, 13th November 2018).

  • The Fourth Group is an organisation leading the way in addressing the impact of technology on citizens globally.

  • Citizens from over 30 countries across the world are demanding a digital bill of rights that will push governments and corporates to act responsibly.

  • The inquiry identified 6 major concerns, including hate and misinformation online, and addiction to technology.

  • An international coalition representing over 250,000 citizens has launched a Crowdfunder to set up a union to advocate for the global public.

Story Pitch: London, 12 November 2018

The Fourth Group will announce the findings from their first Global Inquiry at their annual Politics Summit tomorrow. The Inquiry highlights the opportunities and challenges created by technology globally, through the voices of global citizens. The group’s global agenda, launched at the summit tomorrow, is based on the key findings from this report.

Data protection and the amount of control huge companies hold over our data were among the top concerns. Respondents distinguished between their lives in the ‘physical world’ and ‘on the internet’. On the internet, respondents believe that their rights are undefined and their responsibilities – due in part to anonymity – feel less important.

The Fourth Group brings together over 250,000 people around the world to discuss the issues created by technology, and to collaborate on solutions. Its first report used interviews from 150 people in 12 focus groups held in 8 countries, and responses from over 300 people across 30 countries through an in-depth online survey. Responses came from The Americas, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, East and Southeast Asia, and Oceania.

Key Findings Include:

  • Six Sins of the Digital Age: Addiction, Ignorance, Hate, Fakeness, Disconnection, Narcissism.
  • Three-quarters (75%) of survey responses name our principal digital age rights as either Privacy (33%), Free Expression (24%), or Equal Access (18%)

  • Citizens around the world demand tech companies are held accountable for:

    • The misuse and manipulation of personal data

    • The spread of misinformation and hate

    • Their unethical monetising models (the attention economy)

Alvin Carpio, Chief Executive of The Fourth Group, said: “The people have spoken. At a time when tech companies own the data of billions of people, politicians are playing catch up, and national governments are unable to regulate global firms, there is a clear need for citizens to rise up and organise to protect their rights and embrace their new responsibilities. We will launch a global democratic membership organisation, United Citizens, to do this. The only way we can do this effectively and independently is to crowdfund. It’s time we take back control of our digital lives.”

Notes to the Editor:

The Fourth Group (www.fourth.group) is a global, independent, and non-partisan community of 250,000 citizens, united by the mission of shaping technology for all, leaving nobody behind. Our vision is of a world where citizens participate in decision-making through a global institution to advocate for their interests in the digital age.

Our Tech Revolution: Findings of the First Global Inquiry into Citizens in the Digital Age (www.weareunitedcitizens.org) published today (13th November 2018), is a scan of global citizen sentiment towards the technology created in the digital age. It asked respondents to comment on their rights and responsibilities, the biggest problems caused by technology, and our practical responses to these problems.

Click here for the full report.

The Fourth Group listened to the views of citizens from the following countries: Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Belize, Canada, Colombia, Congo, Dominica, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Haiti, Hungary, Iran, Jamaica, Japan, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritius, Myanmar, New Zealand, Nigeria, Oman, Philippines, South Africa, Sweden, Tanzania, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.

United Citizens is a global democratic membership organisation established to hold technology companies to account. It is a new initiative of The Fourth Group.

Contact:

The Chief Executive of The Fourth Group, Alvin Carpio, can be contacted on: e – alvin@fourth.group and m – 07958397131.

The author of the report, Alex King, can be contacted on: e – awjking@gmail.com and m – +96176625364