09 Jun MIICT Societal Impact Assessment
As much as any project can be, also MIICT is centred around ensuring positive societal impacts. To highlight the positive impacts but similarly prepare for avoiding the negative ones, a specific Societal Impact Assessment (SIA) was made. The MIICT SIA focused on identifying, analysing, monitoring and managing the intended and unintended social consequences, risks and changed processes resulting from the MIICT project, whether they were from the project itself or from the tangible outcomes of the project, not forgetting the future use of the solutions. It is critical to do so, since when impacts are identified in advance, better decisions can be made regarding how the project should proceed and how the outcomes and their use should be; mitigation measures could be implemented too, to both minimise the harm, and maximise the benefits.
Based on the analysis, the possible outcomes of MIICT that should be addressed ranged from data privacy, data protection, storage, and issues with GDPR to gender and language issues, consent policy and security and quality of the content and/services, not forgetting challenges with inclusiveness and accessibility For the above challenges, the SIA formulated related action needed – altogether more than 20 recommendations. For example, when it comes to data privacy issues, it is imperative that all misuse of personal data must be prevented through careful legal scrutiny and various technical means. Further, solutions must be constructed according to all data protection legislation, especially GDPR, and a Privacy-by-Design approach should be followed. Other recommendations are, for example, that the MIICT solutions must take all genders, as well as cultural and religious differences, into account in the design through careful phrasing and inclusivity-by-design techniques; language barriers must be overcome with good communication, multilingual support and careful choosing of terminology; and that the use of MIICT solution must be based on consent, etc.
In short: the SIA verbalised the possible impact to the society and formulated a set of requirements that will ensure an ethically sustainable and societally acceptable use of the outcomes, thus making possible the good that MIICT aims to do.