In a digitalised world, consumers are in demand not only as active buyers but also as passive suppliers of data. This data has become the raw material and currency of the "digital economy". The short study examines how the digitalisation of all areas of life affects consumers.
Against the background of a global economy of data collection, the EU has adopted various regulations to strengthen the rights and freedoms of citizens. These include the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the laws recently passed in the European Parliament, such as the Digital Markets Act and the Digital Service Act.
At the same time, however, various approaches of the European strategy for dealing with data cause a conflict of objectives in which the competitiveness of the EU states also plays a role: The planned Artificial Intelligence Act, the Data Governance Act and the Data Act are still controversial, and are discussed differently in different social contexts.
Fundamental decisions about globally effective technological development are often made in countries or regions that have developed different regulatory frameworks than the EU, and do not always share its fundamental societal values. At the same time, technological upheavals such as the increasing use of artificial intelligence and algorithmic decision-making systems are imminent, up to and including the use of quantum computers.
The new short study conducted by the Institute of Technology Assessment (ITA) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in cooperation with the Austrian Chamber of Labour asks: How has the role of consumers changed, and how do European regulatory projects and the penetration of information and communication technologies in our everyday lives influence the lives of consumers? The results are intended to support the public debate on digitalisation and, like all ITA studies, are published in the public domain.
02/2023 - 11/2023