Social challenges

Rise of the machines

25/06/2021 GIF

Technology emerged triumphant during the COVID-19 pandemic. An acceleration in digital learning, digital working and digital shopping has demonstrated its resilience – and has also highlighted the challenges of access, use and trust.

Access to high-speed internet is vital to sustain this shift to digital activity, but different broadband penetration rates suggest a risk of an urban-rural digital divide.

Use of digital platforms to make online purchases allows businesses to continue to sell and consumers to continue to buy, but the data reveal a divide in online activity between the poorest and the richest quartiles.

Trust in online platforms is important for the long-term health of the digital ecosystem, but different attitudes to payment security concerns underpin the divide between different age groups.

How should governments respond?

Discover more in the OECD Going Digital Toolkit