The impact of technology on our society in 2020
It is important to highlight that this survey was conducted at the start of 2020 prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns which saw usage of digital platforms across Australia skyrocket.
This research shows that Australians are deeply concerned about the influence that technology is having on our lives. But that we also lack the trust in institutions, and political leadership needed to drive the policy and regulation to mitigate the harms.
Through our rapid ascension into the digital age, we’ve been blinded by a promise of free services, unlimited connectivity and uber convenience. So much so that we never took the time to slow down and make important decisions around what it all means for our privacy, our communities and our democracy.
Instead, the fate of all of those important pieces has been sitting in the hands of a group of technology companies that have built a business model on disregarding personal privacy, and that carries unintended consequences that weaken our democracy and fracture our communities.
These companies - Google and Facebook namely - scrape data from every interaction we have. In many cases, they know where you have playtime with your kids, your personal medical information, how you’re feeling emotionally - and they use these personal insights to serve you content that will keep you online and clicking; or they sell them to advertisers who pay to have you nudged toward clicking on their product, their ideology or their cause.
That’s why we founded Reset Australia, to spark dialogue, to raise the public voice into the conversation and to equip Australians with the agency to design our own digital future. One where technology works for Australian society and democracy, rather than against us.