#WebSci20 – Spotlight Panel 2 by Nina Schuller

Posted on Behalf of Nina Schuller

Spotlight Panel 2 on Policies and Practices:  Covid 19, digital Inclusion and the issues of identity and trust 

 Anni Rowland-Campbell began the session by asking the Panel how they felt the Web should change, and why it should change.

Each of the panellists, including Adrian Lovett, David Birch, Harriet Rees, Jie Tang, responded with presentations looking at specific policy and practice issues.  Common ground was quickly established.  

Covid 19 was viewed by panellists as fundamentally changing the relationship between the Web and consumer.  Panellists saw opportunities for increasing inclusion through this change, including driving digital access for all, and related access to digital currency. 

Panellists felt that policy was needed to support changes to the Web – and addressing the problem of identity was at the heart of this.

Although it was was recognised that there were no simple answers to the issue of identity on the Web, there were some creative ideas put forward – including taking the persistent pseudonyms and reputational economy of the World of Warcraft into the world of banking and financial regulation. 

Another idea put forward was that of micropayments – with the suggestion that the subscription model had peaked and that today there was the infrastructure to support micropayments on the Web.

Payments models which neither required cards or smartphones were also discussed, with examples from China given of where such systems were already in operation.

Panellists recognised that although the scale of data that had become available during the Pandemic raised new possibilities for modelling and prediction and adapting to customer need, but it was also pointed out that the Pandemic had come as a shock and had challenged existing modelling and prediction. This now needed to be reviewed and the issue of consumer trust addressed through policy. 

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