People, Power and Technology
In 2018 Doteveryone undertook first of its kind research into the UK public’s digital attitudes and understanding. We found people torn between the individual benefits and societal impacts of the internet, largely unaware of the practices that underlie technologies and resigned to services that they had little power to shape.
Shortly after we conducted that survey, the scandal around the use of Facebook data by the political lobbying firm Cambridge Analytica broke and the conversation around technology changed fundamentally.
In the two years that followed, policy initiatives to regulate the impacts of technology have proliferated. And UK tech workers have been found to have a strong appetite to make sure their products work to the benefit of people and society.
On 11 May 2020 we publish the findings from the latest version of this research which is based on a nationally representative survey of over 2000 people conducted just before lockdown and focus groups shortly after it began.
It benchmarks the public’s appetite, understanding and tolerance towards the impacts of tech on their lives.
In it, we provide recommendations to tech companies and policymakers to ensure that the tech response to the COVID-19 pandemic does not happen in a vacuum of regulation and accountability.
In searching for a response to the crisis of trust and with the sudden shifts in technology use by individuals, companies and the public sector due to the pandemic, it becomes more vital than ever to listen to, and hear, the views of the public.
All the data used in the report has been published under Creative Commons license and is available to download from https://github.com/Doteveryone/People-Power-Tech.