May 16, 2021

Batet advocates using new technologies to guarantee equality in Spain

Batet advocates using new technologies to guarantee equality in Spain



The Minister of Territorial Policy and Public Service, Meritxel Batet, today expressed the commitment of the Government that the right to equality is "a reality" in the whole of Spain thanks to new technologies, seeking access to all citizens regardless of where they reside.

Batet has opted to develop public policies of social inclusion to new technologies during its participation in Bilbao in the presentation of the Declaration of the University of Deusto on "Human rights in digital environments".

The Minister of Public Governance and Basque Self-Government, Josu Erkoreka, has also taken part in the event, prior to the meeting of both leaders in the Mixed Commission of State-Basque Transfers.

In her speech, the minister has shown that today "our lives are, to a large extent, digital" and that the "challenge" lies in the fact that technological change is carried out while maintaining the validity of fundamental rights.

Batet has highlighted the possibilities of new technologies to increase inclusiveness and to be an "instrument of equality", guaranteeing it especially in rural areas affected by depopulation and among people with disabilities.

In his opinion, digitalization constitutes "a great opportunity for social and territorial rebalancing" in the face of the current demographic challenge, which the Government considers a "State issue".

As he has said, the service of broadband internet access reaches about 76% of Spaniards, which implies that "a large part of the population still has to travel" to make purchases, access an ATM or make arrangements before the Administration.

He has indicated, therefore, that "equality in terms of equity and access to basic services remains a pending issue".

Faced with this, he has considered it "essential" to articulate a great political agreement "that facilitates new frameworks of action that protect the lives of our peoples" and its inhabitants, and has advocated extending the coverage of digital broadband.

The minister has welcomed the fact that Spain is among the EU countries with the greatest progress in the digitalization of its Administration, occupying the fourth place out of 28 in the field of digital public services, and has advocated consolidating these advances.

In this task, he has framed, among other actions, the "citizen folder" project in which the Government works so that citizens and companies with a single identification can consult all their data and records held by the Administration and that will be a reality in the State Administration in 18 months, has advanced.

With the so-called Deusto Declaration on Human Rights in digital environments, prepared by a multidisciplinary team of experts, the aim is to "humanize technology" and open a debate on the defense of the dignity and integrity of the person in the digital framework.

Read by three students from the University of Deusto, the statement includes 16 rights, including the right to be forgotten on the Internet, disconnection, the "digital legacy", freedom of expression on the network, the protection of integrity personal before technology, digital personal identity and privacy in technological environments.

Other rights included refer to transparency in the use of algorithms, equal opportunities in the digital economy, consumer guarantees in digital commerce, intellectual property in the network, universal accessibility to the internet, digital literacy, fairness of the network, security in the network and have a last human instance in the decisions of expert systems.

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