ERCIM News No.37 - April 1999

The Social Impact of Networking Technologies

by Truls Gjestland

New information and communication technologies provide new ways of acquiring information, new ways of conducting business and new ways of interacting with people and organizations. The technology is thus including, as it offers more people a possibility to play an active role in the society. However, this technology is also potentially dangerous, as it may be excluding. Our society may be divided in those who have access and can use the new technology, and those who cannnot. These aspects are being addressed in many countries, and several research projects have been launched to study the social impact of ICT. It is also a growing trend to stress the slogan: design for everybody, so that the concept is more than a dinner speech item, but has become a reality, and a requirement in many new research projects: If feasible any new product or service should be available for as many as possible regardless of for instance personal handicaps.

Articles in this section:

return to the ERCIM News 37 contents page