Digital Strategy Consultation – An Ethical Digital Nation

December 11, 2020 by No Comments | Category Digital Scotland, Digital Strategy Consultation

In a recent blog, we introduced the consultation for the new Digital Strategy for Scotland and highlighted why it is so important for people across the country to have their voices heard. This is the sixth and final blog in a short series taking a look at the key themes raised within the strategy. In this blog, hear what Scottish Government is doing to ensure the country is recognised as an ethical digital nation.

The rise of data and digital technologies is undoubtedly changing the way that we all work. However, with the ever-changing digital landscape comes new ethical and moral questions about the kind of society we want to be. There are, understandably, public concerns surrounding personal privacy, digital security, the impacts of social media and the way in which government works with the tech industry.

The Scottish Government is working hard to build and maintain public trust in digital services and we recognise that in order to move forward on this journey, we must engage with key stakeholders around the globe. The discussion document outlines a number of potential actions that we believe will enable Scotland to be recognised internationally as an ethical digital nation. These actions include; delivering a framework with principles that can be embedded in the way we design and build public services, increasing collaboration with other governments, and using digital technology to better engage with communities across the country. We hope that the actions laid out within the document paves a path for Scottish Government to engage openly with the public on issues such as privacy, ethics and inclusion and ensures that the views of the Scottish people are heard.

Significant steps have already been taken within the public sector in this area and it is important to recognise these achievements. For example, Scotland’s Open Government Action Plan has set out our ambitions for creating a culture of open government and features a number of commitments on financial transparency and improving the way people can understand, participate in, and influence the government’s work. Another example can be found in the AI Strategy for Scotland, which is currently under development and is due to be published in 2021. This highlights what Scotland needs to do over the coming 5 years in order to realise the potential of AI and ensure the people of Scotland benefit from the adoption of AI as a trusted, responsible and ethical tool.

Further to this, the Digital Directorate’s, Digital Participation Team, are running an open digital dialogue until 18 December on the collection and use of information online. Please join in on the discussion.

The coronavirus crisis has reminded us all of the social and economic consequences that can occur as a result of being digitally excluded. However, it has also highlighted that we do have the skills needed to digitalise services in response to external forces and that there is a clear positive impact of delivering joined up digital services. We hope that the actions laid out in the updated strategy will guide Scotland towards being a truly ethical digital nation and one that is built around the needs of its people.

You can view the consultation document, and have your say, here. Keep up to date on @digitalscots, and we’ll report back on what we’ve learned in the New Year.

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