The Digital Futures Commission in the UK has released a report that shows the importance of digital inclusion, and the negative impact digital exclusion can have on individuals. The report also considers how this behaviour affects our society.
According to the report, approximately 7 million people in the UK ‘lack basic digital skills’. These individuals are most likely from low-income households and marginalised communities that may not have access to the same tools and education that those from middle-to-high-income households might. This is what forms the idea of ‘digital exclusion’. This form of exclusion not only hinders individual opportunities, but also has economic and community costs for society as a whole.
Urgent action is required to address digital exclusion and reverse its impact on both the individual and society. The Digital Futures Commission has called for the establishment of a ‘national digital inclusion strategy’. This involves investing in training and support for marginalised communities, and more regulation of the tech industry to ensure technology is accessible and inclusive for individuals from all socio-economic backgrounds.
As technology has the potential to ‘promote social and economic inclusion’ for all, the Digital Futures and Commission report also calls for a shift in focus for digital innovation to include all members of society. These proactive measures will hopefully lessen the rates of exclusion within communities and promote greater understanding.