The European Commission (EC) today presented the results of its special Eurobarometer survey on digital rights and principles from a consumer perspective. According to the results of the survey, the vast majority of EU citizens considered the Internet and digital tools to be significant for their future and thought it would be useful to set rights and principles for digital transformation at EU level.
For this special survey, a total of 26,530 people from the 27 EU member states were interviewed online or – whenever possible – in person between September and October 2021 about how they saw the future of digital tools, services and the Internet, and how this would affect their lives by 2030.
These are further insights:
- Importance of digital in everyday life: 81 percent of Europeans thought that digital tools and the Internet would play an important role in their lives by 2030 and that it would bring as many advantages as disadvantages. 12 percent expected more disadvantages than advantages.
- Online harms and risks: 56 percent of respondents were concerned about cyberattacks and cybercrime (theft or misuse of personal data, malware or phishing). Other concerns were expressed about the safety and well-being of children in the digital world (53 percent), use of personal data by companies or public administrations (46 percent), finding a balance between online and offline time (34 percent), the need for digital skills in order to actively participate in society (26 percent) and the negative environmental impact of digital products and services (23 percent).
- Need for more knowledge of rights online: While the majority of European consumers felt that the EU did a good job of protecting their rights online, nearly 40 percent did not know that this also applied to freedom of expression, privacy and non-discrimination online. A large majority said it would be useful to be better informed about these rights.
- Support for declaration on digital principles: 82 percent of EU citizens thought it would be useful for the EU to define and promote common digital rights and principles. According to 90 percent of respondents, easy and user-friendly access to digital public services for all – including people with disabilities or at risk of exclusion – should be enshrined in these digital principles.