Taiwan’s battle against disinformation opens the door to familiar questions about the importance of freedom vs. security.
The News Lens
By: Roy Ngerng
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released a report entitled “How’s Life in the Digital Age?” last month, exploring the impact of digital transformation on individuals. In particular, it focuses “on individual, rather than economic and societal impacts of the digital transformation […] to assess how the digital transformation affects well-being at the individual level.” In other words, the report looks at how individuals like you and I are directly affected by digital changes, and not just on broad economic terms. A critique of Taiwan’s approach in its digital strategy has been that it is too focused on the economic potential of digitalization, but lacks focus on the human aspect. OECD’s report could thus provide insight as to how Taiwan’s digital strategy could incorporate the needs of individuals better.
The “How’s Life in the Digital Age?” report is part of the OECD’s Better Life Initiative which measures well-being via indicators in 11 dimensions, broadly encompassing wealth and inequality, jobs and education, healthcare, work-life balance, political engagement and subjective well-being and security. Accordingly, the report compiles cross-country comparison data of indicators such as the unequal access to digital tools, the risks of job polarization which could result from automation, and job strain and satisfaction that can arise from digital use, among others. The report is quite a long one (and is worth a read!) but in this article, I will focus on its relevance to some of the most current issues that are ongoing in Taiwan right now: on the relationship between “fake news” and trust, the spread of false information by foreign governments, open data and its accessibility, and the threat of digital insecurity to digital transformation. This article will highlight the key data from OECD’s report in these areas, and provide comparison data from Taiwan, as well as expand on the issues discussed, to explore their impact in the context of Taiwan and parts of Asia. [FULL STORY]