Telefonica called for an international digital bill of rights to protect individuals, promote responsible business practices from multinational internet platforms, and ensure artificial intelligence (AI) and IoT developments benefit the whole of society.
In a new edition of the operator’s wide-ranging Manifesto for a New Digital Deal, Telefonica CEO Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete (pictured) outlined the need for sweeping new guidelines shaped by public-private collaborations.
“Now is the time to reach a new settlement, a new digital deal which ensures that the significant benefits of the new cognitive world are made available to everyone,” Alvarez-Pallete said.
The document highlights the need to focus on how people’s everyday lives are being impacted by technological developments – including data collection, use of AI and the effect of automation on employees of companies in impacted industries.
Alvarez-Pallete added in this new era, companies and countries should “seek to preserve democracy and humanity, ensuring that technology serves to improve the lives of individuals in every part of the world.”
“Businesses must take responsibility for the impact of technology on our lives,” he noted. “We will need to modernise our policies and norms to ensure fair competition and innovation. This manifesto aims to initiate the debate on how we can achieve human-centric digitalisation.”
Development of its new plan comes four years after the launch of its first Digital Manifesto focused on providing an open and safe internet.
The new policy document outlines a number of proposed measures and goals including: ensuring digitalisation is an inclusive process; adaptation of social and fiscal policies to ensure citizens benefit from digital (including reskilling employees in jobs impacted by automation); fair taxation of digital players; an overhaul of privacy rules; development of global platforms committed to social development; AI ethics guidelines; and the creation of an international digital bill of rights.