People, Power & Technology: The 2020 Digital Attitudes Report

The public is once again recalibrating its relationship with technology.

The pandemic lockdown has accelerated even further the already dizzying speed of technological change: suddenly the office has become Zoom, the classroom Google and the theatre YouTube.

The transformations wrought in this period will be lasting. The outcome of this period of increased tech dependence must be one where technology serves people, communities and lanet.

Doteveryone fights for better tech, for everyone. To achieve this it’s vital to listen to – and respect – the views of the public. This report puts the people who are experiencing this tremendous transformation front and centre.

Based on our groundbreaking 2018 research, Doteveryone ran a nationally representative survey just before lockdown and focus groups shortly after it began, benchmarking the public’s appetite, understanding and tolerance towards the impacts of tech on their lives.   

This year’s research finds people continue to feel the internet is better for them as individuals than for society as a whole. But the benefits are not evenly shared: the rich are more positive about tech than the poor, risking the creation of a new class of the ‘tech left-behind’. And it finds most people think the industry is under-regulated. They look to government and independent regulators to shape the impacts of technology on people and society.

It finds that although people’s digital understanding has grown, that’s not helping them to shape their online experiences in line with their own wishes. They still struggle to get information about the issues that matter and to choose services that match their preferences.

And it finds people often don’t know where to turn when things go wrong. Even if they do report problems, they often don’t get any answers. They mistrust tech companies’ motives, feel powerless to influence what they do, and are resigned to services where harmful experiences are perceived to be part of the everyday. 

The current societal shift is an opportunity to shape a fairer future where technology works for more people, more of the time. Our practical recommendations to government and industry provide clear steps to make that happen.

DOWNLOAD THE REPORT HERE