Ethics, e-Inclusion and Ageing

Emilio Mordini 1 , David Wright 2 , Paul de Hert 3 , Eugenio Mantovani 4 , Kush R Wadhwa 5 , Jesper Thestrup 6  and Guido Van Steendam 7
  • 1 Centre for Science, Society and Citizenship
  • 2 Trilateral Research & Consultancy
  • 3 Vrije Universiteit Brussel
  • 4 Vrije Universiteit Brussel
  • 5 Global Security Intelligence
  • 6 In-JeT ApS
  • 7 Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

Ethical questions about information and communications technologies (ICT) have been debated since World War II. Western democracies have had more than 50 years of experience in addressing and organising the ethical, social and legal aspects (ESLA) of scientific and technological developments. However, this expertise, tradition and experience are not enough to manage the most urgent ethical and social issues and contemporary challenges involving ICT. A systematic and institutional organisation of social values in the context of modern ICT tools is needed.This paper focuses on four major areas: (i) developing a specific approach to ethical issues raised by ICT; (ii) describing in more detail the age-related digital divide in Europe; (iii) identifying technology trends and emerging challenges; and (iv) defining the legal framework for inclusion of senior citizens in the digital society. The paper then concludes with a summary of its key points on the basis of which it makes three proposals as a contribution to efforts aimed at overcoming the exclusion of senior citizens from today's Information Society.

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