Digital technology, social protection and human rights - UN Report

Screenshot of Title Page
Published by:
European Institutions (EU, CoE)
Date of publication:
Background Material

United States

In this report, the Special Rapporteur acknowledges the irresistible attractions for Governments to increase their reliance on digital technologies. He also highlights the grave risk of stumbling, zombie-like, into a digital welfare dystopia. He observes that big technology companies operate in an almost human rights-free zone, and that this is especially problematic when the private sector is taking a leading role in designing, constructing and even operating significant parts of the digital welfare state.

The report recommends that, instead of obsessing about fraud, cost savings, sanctions, and market-driven definitions of efficiency, the starting point should be on how welfare budgets could be transformed through technology to ensure a higher standard of living for the vulnerable and disadvantaged.