The European Commission (EC) has referred to a recent Eurobarometer survey that suggests 82% of European Union citizens would be in favour of a declaration on digital principles which would outline people’s digital rights. The survey also revealed that more than half of EU citizens are concerned about cyber-attacks and cybercrime and that over half are concerned about the safety and well-being of children online. Just under half of the respondents were worried about the use of their personal data by companies and governments.
Regarding support for a declaration on digital principles, the EC said there was a majority of support for principles that have ‘concrete implications of citizens’. As examples given in the survey, principles included:
- Everyone, including people with disabilities or at risk of exclusion, should benefit from easily accessible and user-friendly digital public services.
- Everyone should be clearly informed about the terms and conditions that apply to their internet connection.
- Everyone should have secure access to their online health records (e.g. medical results and prescriptions) and remain in full control of this information.
- Everyone needs to be able to access the internet through an affordable and high-speed connection.
- Everyone should be able to use a secure and trustworthy digital identity that can be used to access a broad range of public and private online services.
- Everyone should be able to benefit from digital health and care services (e.g. Telemedicine).
- Data or information should only need to be submitted once when interacting with public administrations.
The Commission said that it would be taking into account the findings from this survey to work on a proposal for a European declaration on digital rights and principles of the European Parliament, the Council and Commission. It hopes such a declaration will bring a ‘human-centric vision’ to the table as technologies develop.
The EC said it will conduct more surveys on an annual basis from 2023 to get qualitative feedback from citizens on how well they think the new digital declaration, which it plans to introduce, has been implemented in the EU. If you'd like to check out the full report, you can download it now.