Digital Society

The notion of digital society reflects the results of the modern society in adopting and integrating information and communication technologies at home, work, education and recreation.

Digital innovations are reshaping our society, economy and industries with a scale and speed like never before. Mobile and cloud technologies, Big Data and the Internet of Things offer unimaginable opportunities, driving growth, improvement of citizens’ lives and efficiency to many areas including health services, transportation, energy, agriculture, manufacturing, retail and public administration. They can also improve the governing process by helping policy-makers take better decisions and engage citizens. The Internet has considerable potential to promote democracy, cultural diversity and human rights like the freedom of expression and freedom to information.

However, we also have to understand how the scale and speed of these changes impact consumers, users, citizens and workers, including all of these combined into a single ‘digital person’, as well as how they affect social and private life, education, science, government, democracy and business.

LIBRe Foundation is committed to leveraging the benefits and tackling the challenges in order to create an inclusive, secure and sustainable digital society benefitting from the Internet and digital technologies; focusing on:

  • regulation and policy development;
  • legally compliant services and tools;
  • cross-border cultural differences and the creation of a common digital culture;
  • specific sub-digital societies in cases of community policing and ICT-enhanced disaster management.

Digital society policies and regulations are a complex of shared principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedures, and programs that shape the evolution and use of the Internet and digital technologies on both local and internal level; thus maximizing their social and economic potential for doing business, working, playing, communicating and expressing ourselves freely. Successful delivery of these policies and regulations will spur innovation, economic growth and improvements in daily life for both citizens and businesses. Wider deployment and more effective use of digital technologies will enable us to address our key challenges and will provide us with a better quality of life through, for example, better healthcare, safer and more efficient transport solutions, cleaner environment, new media opportunities and easier access to public services and cultural content towards:

achieving a digital single market in which the free movement of persons, services and capital is ensured and where the individuals and businesses can seamlessly access and exercise online activities under conditions of fair competition, and a high level of consumer and personal data protection, irrespective of their nationality or place of residence;

enhancing interoperability of devices, applications, data repositories, services and networks and applying standardisation policy;

consolidating online trust and security by combating cybercrime, child pornography and breaches of privacy and personal data security;

promoting fast and ultrafast Internet access for all;

investing in research and innovation;

enhancing digital literacy, skills and inclusion;

leveraging smart use of technology for society in the fields of climate change, managing ageing population through e-health and telemedicine systems and services, digitisation of content and/or intelligent transport systems, etc.

LIBRe Foundation understands the needs of the society in advancing in these daily life issues and contributes to drafting of legal and policy statements, participation in work groups, public discussions, cooperation with and provision of assistance to the competent authorities at national and European level with respect to the implementation of legislative initiatives and policies related to the development of information and communication technologies.

Typically, information systems, applications and services are designed with a focus on specific business goals, fancy features, and the technological capabilities of hardware or software tools. All of these approaches to system design omit the most important part of the process – the end user. User-centred design is a framework of processes (not restricted to interfaces or technologies) in which the needs, wants, and limitations of end users of a process, service or product are given extensive attention at each stage of the design process. User-centred design can also be characterized as a multi-stage problem solving process that not only requires designers to analyse and foresee how users are likely to use a product, but also to test the validity of their assumptions with regard to user behaviour at each stage of the process from requirements, concepts, pre-production models, mid production and post production confirming or modifying the original requirements. The main difference from other design philosophies is that user-centred design tries to optimize the product/service around its intended users’ existing beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours as they relate to the tasks that the system is being designed to support, rather than forcing the users to change their behaviour to accommodate the product/service. By understanding the human emotions, motivations, and beliefs that surround a task, a user interface can be designed to accommodate and support user behaviours in a way that users will experience as natural and satisfying.

However, in every market field, despite of or in addition to the user-centred design focus a specific number of legal, standard or ethical requirements should be applied towards a fully compliant product or service, especially in cases of users’ disabilities. The team of LIBRe Foundation understands these difficulties and persistently looks for legal techniques, methodologies and innovative concepts to improve and complement industries’ efforts in this direction.

User experience is how a person feels when interfacing with a system - a website, a web application or desktop software and, in modern contexts, any form of human-computer interaction.

User experience includes the practical, experiential, affective, meaningful and valuable aspects of human–computer interaction and product ownership.

User experience includes a person’s perceptions of system aspects such as utility, ease of use and efficiency.

User experience may be considered subjective in nature to the degree that it is about individual perception and thought with respect to the system.

User experience is dynamic as it is constantly modified over time due to changing usage circumstances and changes to individual systems as well as the wider usage context in which they can be found.

User experience focuses on having a deep understanding of users, what they need, what they value, their abilities, and also their limitations, and, at the same time, taking into account the business goals and objectives of the group managing the project.

LIBRe Foundation could effectively support the user experience in both private companies and state administration delivery process by creating comprehensive legal designs of complex product/service guidelines, terms of use or related binding documents combining legal techniques, information technologies and modern design.

Global networking not only eliminates geographic distances but facilitates communication with different cultural groups. Internet presents an opportunity to highlight cultural differences and promote an understanding and awareness of diverse cultural perspectives. For many years, studies have shown the role that cultural differences play in intercultural communication. More recently, researchers have recognized the significance of this research in user interface design - cultural differences extend beyond the general meaning of symbols, colors, data (time, date, currency) formats, etc., they also reflect underlying social structures that define how individuals and organizations interact and communicate with each other.

Storytelling is a new dimension in interface design that extends beyond established research in intercultural communication theory. Since narratives enable users to relate ideas and events to their personal experiences, stories create a sense of engagement, identity, and community that helps users understand cultural differences. Digital technology provides an opportunity to use storytelling in device/service design to build online communities of users to share cultural traditions, similar experiences or interests in education, business, or marketing. Digital storytelling provides an opportunity to merge the traditional art of storytelling with interactive technology and create cultural narratives that immerse the audience in a new cultural experience and to further enhance the user experience on difference cognitive levels. The team of LIBRe Foundation combines legal expertise and communication techniques to help organizations to better present their products/services/delivery processes and to expand the design of their legal documents by providing a comprehensive “translation” of complex issues.

Specific sub-digital societies could be created upon emerging of local security issues or disasters. LIBRe Foundation’s team has specific experience in citizen interaction technologies in the context of the rapid upsurge of smartphone applications aimed at improving crime reporting and other forms of user-generated content with law enforcement or state authorities; with an extensive experience on the legal implications of different functionalities, integration of platforms/services and the use of smart surveillance systems for the analysis of data gathered through using such technologies. An extension of this interaction is the notion of how technologies can contribute to disaster management situations that respects the cultural uniqueness of individuals and communities, but can also benefit from these cultural differences, resulting in hazard-specific services or applications that transcend national, geographical, and cultural “borders”. We could successfully contribute to the design of privacy-enhanced applications dealing with specific community issues and changing the emergency management on national/international level.