April 19, 2019

Airbnb vs. Human Rights

“Societally speaking, we’re only just realizing the impact that tech can have on people’s lives and communities.

Long aware of the disrupting effect that innovative new platforms for delivering services (see Uber) and alternative means of communication (see Facebook) can bring to existing industries, our excitement about economic progress has overshadowed the consequences on people. People, for whom tech was designed to serve in the first place.

Beyond the cataclysmic impact digital offerings have on consumer behaviour, markets and the economy – all part and parcel of a capitalist system where profit is the top and bottom line – the hyperconnected, super convenient and data-managed world we now live in is spilling over into shaping society, influencing politics and fundamentally challenging people’s human rights.

Human rights like the right to earn an income, for example. Tech is displacing work, not just for low-income, low-skilled workers, but increasingly on middle-class professions too. Information-based work, where computers can do more efficient and accurate work is all under threat. Hence the worrying stats from Centre for Cities estimating that 1 in 5 jobs will have disappeared by 2030.”

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