Are families ready for digital changes? – COFACE at the OECD Ministerial Meeting on Digital Economy


We were very pleased to participate in the OECD 2016 Ministerial Meeting on Digital Economy: Innovation, Growth and Social Prosperity last week, to bring the family perspective and to explore new topics and challenges to better understand the impact of digitalisation on families.

The Ministerial Meeting (22-23 June) aimed to move forward the digital agenda in four key policy areas: 1/Internet openness and innovation, 2/Trust in the digital economy, 3/Building global connectivity and 4/Jobs and skills in the digital economy.


The OECD incorporated stakeholder inputs through its own advisory committees: Internet technical (ITAC), business (BIAC), civil society (CSISAC) and trade union (TUAC) actors.

COFACE-Families Europe, together with the Civil Society Stakeholder group CSISAC met the day before the Ministerial Meeting (21 June) to engage the OECD, member countries, and others in a dialogue on fundamental social concerns “Towards an Inclusive, Equitable, and Accountable Digital Economy”. Five panels were organised on issues such as Civil Society Emerging Issues and Goals and Consumers and Workers in the Digital Work.

COFACE-Families Europe underlined two key issues from the perspective of family associations:

First, the imperative need to systematically consider, whenever data is being processed in any way, whether it may be result in discrimination or hitting disproportionately vulnerable groups like the migrants, people with disabilities, the elderly, children and so forth. Big Data carries much potential ranging from preventive policies in health or finance, to speeding up advances in research which could save people’s lives.  At the same time, it could result in discrimination in areas such as access to financial services, insurance, employment or even access to housing! Setting strong standards and governance for data processing, which uphold key principles and values of solidarity, mutualization or socialization of risk is a major priority for COFACE-Families Europe.

Second, the need to create new indicators to help users navigate the Internet and guide their choices and behaviours online. Just like food labelling and energy efficiency labelling is meant to assist consumers in making better choices, new indicators such as the ratio between advertising and native content, the average amount spent by users on freemium apps or free-to-play games, whether and to what extent data is being sold to third-parties… all of these would help users make choices about the services they use and evaluate whether such services are “good value for time” or “good value for data”, since time and data are “new” forms of online currencies.

COFACE has contributed to the Forum with a policy briefing reflecting on a variety of issues – 2016 Digital Economy Ministerial Meeting

Additional links:
Website CSISAC forum:
Website OECD Ministerial Meeting on Digital Economy:

Social Media :
#OECDdigitalMX #digitaleconomy @COFACEEU @OECDinnovation @OECD @CSISAC

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