Advertisement

Ethics and Information Technology

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 139–156 | Cite as

Mainstreaming the e-excluded in Europe: strategies, good practices and some ethical issues

Original Paper

Abstract

E-inclusion is getting a lot of attention in Europe these days. The European Commission and EU Member States have initiated e-inclusion strategies aimed at reaching out to the e-excluded and bringing them into the mainstream of society and the economy. The benefits of mainstreaming the excluded are numerous. Good practices play an important role in the strategies, and examples can be found in e-health, e-learning, e-government, e-inclusion and other e-domains. So laudable seems the rationale for e-inclusion, few have questioned the benefits. In fact, e-inclusion does raise ethical issues, and this paper discusses a few of the key ones. The paper draws several conclusions, principally regarding the need for some empirical research on what happens to the e-excluded once they have access to information and communications technologies, notably the Internet.

Keywords

E-excluded E-inclusion E-inclusion strategies Good practice Strategies 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Castle, T. (2009). Ryanair to cut all airport check-in desks. Reuters, 21 Feb 2009. http://uk.reuters.com/article/allBreakingNews/idUKLL53874020090221?sp=true.
  2. Cross, M. (2009). Lane fox to become UK’s first digital champion. The Guardian, 17 June 2009. http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/jun/17/martha-lane-fox-digital-inclusion.
  3. Deloitte Belgium, & Empirica Communication and Technology Research (Germany). (2009). eHealth in action: Good practice in European Countries, Good eHealth Report, Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, January 2009. http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/activities/health/docs/studies/2009good_eHealth-report.pdf.
  4. Doctor, R. (1994). Seeking equity in the national information infrastructure. Internet Research: Electronic Networking Applications and Policy, 4(3), 9–22. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. e-ability project. Good Practice Manual: Promotion of digital literacy in people with psychological disabilities: Some European Initiatives. European Commission Directorate-General for Education and Culture, Brussels, [no date]. www.elearningeuropa.info/out/?doc_id=8577&rsr_id=9950.
  6. Eggermont, S., Vandebosch, H., & Steyaert, S. (2006). Towards the desired future of the elderly and ICT: Policy recommendations based on a dialogue with senior citizens. Poiesis & Praxis, 4(3), 199–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. eInclusion@EU. (2007). Strengthening eInclusion and eAccessibility across Europe. Final Project Report. Deliverable D6.3. Revised Final Version. June 2007.Google Scholar
  8. Estivill, J. (2003). Concepts and strategies for combating social exclusion. Geneva: International Labour Office. http://www.ilo.org/public/english/protection/socsec/step/download/96p1.pdf.
  9. European Commission. (2000). eEurope: An information society for all. Communication on a Commission Initiative for the Special European Council of Lisbon. 23 and 24 March 2000 [published 8 Dec. 1999].Google Scholar
  10. European Commission. (2007). European i2010 initiative on e-inclusion: “To be part of the information society”. Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. COM(2007) 694 final. Brussels, 8 Nov 2007.Google Scholar
  11. European Commission. (2009a). Commission earmarks €1bn for investment in broadband—Frequently asked questions. Press release, MEMO/09/35. Brussels, 28 January 2009. http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=MEMO/09/35.
  12. European Commission. (2009b). Dealing with the impact of an ageing population in the EU (2009 Ageing Report). Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, COM(2009) 180/4. Brussels, 29 April 2009.Google Scholar
  13. European Commission. (2009c). Digital economy can lift Europe out of crisis, says Commission report. Press release, IP/09/1221. Brussels, 4 August 2009. http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/09/1221&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=nl.
  14. European Council. (2000). Presidency conclusions. Lisbon European Council, 23–24 March 2000. http://ue.eu.int/ueDocs/cms_Data/docs/pressData/en/ec/00100-r1.en0.htm.
  15. European Council. (2001). Council resolution on e-Inclusion: exploiting the opportunities of the information society for social inclusion, 2001/C 292/02, OJ 18 October 2001.Google Scholar
  16. Foley, P., Codagnone, C., & Osimo, D. (2008). An analysis of international digital strategies: Why develop a digital inclusion strategy and what should be the focus? Research Report. Department for Communities and Local Government, London, October 2008. http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/communities/internationaldigitalstrategies.
  17. Fornefeld, M., Delaunay, G., & Elixmann, D. (2008). The impact of broadband on growth and productivity. A study on behalf of the European Commission (DG Information Society and Media). Germany: MICUS Management Consulting GmbH. http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/eeurope/i2010/docs/benchmarking/broadband_impact_2008.pdf.
  18. Gilleard, C., & Higgs, P. (2008). International use and the digital divide in the English longitudinal study of ageing. European Journal of Ageing, 5, 233–239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hacker, K. L., & Mason, S. M. (2003). Ethical gaps in studies of the digital divide. Ethics and Information Technology, 5(2), 99–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. i2010. (2007). E-inclusion subgroup, National Reports. Brussels: European Commission, December 2007. http://www.epractice.eu/files/download/i2010_eInclusion_Reports.pdf.
  21. Lenhart, A., & Horrigan, J. B. (2003). Re-visualizing the digital divide as a digital spectrum. IT & Society, 1(5), 23–39. http://www.ITandSociety.org.
  22. Levitas, R., Pantazis, C., Fahmy, E., et al. (2007). The multi-dimensional analysis of social exclusion. Department of Sociology and School for Social Policy, Townsend Centre for the International Study of Poverty and Bristol Institute for Public Affairs University of Bristol, January 2007.Google Scholar
  23. Mason, S. M., & Hacker, K. L. (2003). Applying communication theory to digital divide research. IT & Society, 1(5), 40–55.Google Scholar
  24. Mellor, D., Firth, L., & Moore, K. (2008). Can the internet improve the well-being of the elderly? Ageing International, 35, 25–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ministerial Declaration. (2006). Approved unanimously by Ministers of European Union (EU) Member States and European Free Trade Area (EFTA) countries responsible for eInclusion policy, Riga, Latvia, 11 June 2006. http://europa.eu.int/information_society/events/ict_riga_2006/index_en.htm.
  26. Mordini, E., Wright, D., et al. (2009a). Ethics, e-inclusion and ageing. Studies in Ethics, Law, and Technology, 3(1). DOI:  10.2202/1941-6008.1093. http://www.bepress.com/selt/vol3/iss1/art5.
  27. Mordini, E., Wright, D., Wadhwa, K., et al. (2009b). Senior citizens and the ethics of e-inclusion. Ethics and Information Technology, 11(3), 203–220Google Scholar
  28. Ofcom. (2009a). Citizens’ digital participation—Executive summary. London, 20 March 2009. http://www.ofcom.org.uk/advice/media_literacy/medlitpub/medlitpubrss/cdp/.
  29. Ofcom. (2009b). Accessing the internet at home: A quantitative and qualitative study among people without the internet at home by Ipsos Mori. Research Document. London, 10 June 2009.Google Scholar
  30. Ogg, J. (2005). Social exclusion and insecurity among older Europeans: The influence of welfare regimes. Ageing & Society, 25(1), 69–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Ogozalek, V. (1991). The social impacts of computing: Computer technology and the graying of America. Social Science Computer Review, 9, 655–666.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Pfanner, E. (2009). Broadband expansion is popular in stimulus plans. The New York Times, 25 Feb 2009. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/26/business/worldbusiness/26broadband.html?ref=worldbusiness.
  33. Power, A., & Wilson, W. J. (2000). Social exclusion and the future of cities. London: Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, London School of Economics.Google Scholar
  34. Reding, V. (2008). Why ICT research is even more important in the aftermath of the financial crisis. IST 2008 Event: I’s to the Future: Invention–Innovation–Impact, Lyon, 25 Nov 2008.Google Scholar
  35. Schement, J. (2001). Of gaps by which democracy we measure. In B. Compaine (Ed.), The digital divide: Facing a crisis or creating a myth? (pp. 303–310). Cumberland, RI: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  36. Schroder-Butterfill, E., & Marianti, R. (2006). A framework for understanding old-age vulnerabilities. Ageing & Society, 26, 9–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Selwyn, N. (2004). The information aged: A qualitative study of older adults; use of information and communications technology. Journal of Aging Studies, 18, 369–384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Social Exclusion Unit (SEU). (2005). Inclusion through innovation: Tackling social exclusion through new technologies. Final Report. London: Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, November 2005.Google Scholar
  39. Stroetmann, K. A., Hammerschmidt, R., Stroetmann, V. N., & Moldenaers, I. (2009). eHealth in action: Good practice in European Countries. Good eHealth Report. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, January 2009.Google Scholar
  40. Tech4i. (2008). An analysis of international digital strategies: Why develop a digital inclusion strategy and what should be the focus? Research Report. London: Department for Communities and Local Government, October 2008.Google Scholar
  41. Tryhorn, C. (2009). Most people without internet have no interest in getting broadband. The Guardian, 10 June 2009. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/jun/10/ofcom-broadband-research.
  42. UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. (2009). Digital Britain: The interim report. The Stationery Office, January 2009. http://www.culture.gov.uk/reference_library/media_releases/5783.aspx.
  43. UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. (2009). Digital Britain, Final Report, Norwich: The Stationery Office, June 2009. www.tsoshop.co.uk.
  44. Wilhelm, A. G. (2003). Civic participation and technology inequality: The “killer application” is education. In D. Anderson & M. Cornfield (Eds.), The civic web (pp. 113–128). New York: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  45. Wortham, J. (2009). Baby boomers, luddites? Not so fast. The New York Times, 20 Feb 2009. http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/tag/forrester-research/.
  46. Wray, R. (2009). Ofcom sets out challenge of broadband Britain. The Guardian, 17 March 2009. http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/mar/17/ofcom-broadband-challenge.
  47. Wright, D. (2010). Structuring e-inclusion stakeholder needs. Journal of Information, Communications and Ethics in Society, 8(2) (forthcoming).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Trilateral Research & Consulting LLPLondonUK
  2. 2.Global Security Intelligence LimitedLondonUK

Personalised recommendations