David Souter has been looking back over the pieces he wrote about COVID’s impact on the digital society, present and future. Before this column enters its Northern summer/Southern winter break, he thought the time had come for some reflection on how that has been going.
Look back at the early days of digital enthusiasm, and you’ll find many assumptions. “Good things” (or opportunities) were often emphasised in digital literature back then; less good things (or risks) less so.
What does good government mean in principle? How is it altered by the digital society? How should government and the digital world respond?
In this week's column, David Souter explores how in the digital world we often assume that digital access improves access to services. And so it does – for most people in most cases, but not for all in all. Those designing policies and plans for digital access to public (and private) services should remember always that the real aim is access to services not digitalisation, he states.