Digital economy

Digital Economy and Social Security Observatory

The Digital Economy will profoundly transform our daily life, how we work and how we live.

The Observatory will provide ISSA members with an understanding of the opportunities and the challenges it will present to social security administrations.

It will look at this transformation from two angles: the changing environment in which social security institutions evolve and how Social Security institutions themselves will be impacted and can respond to these challenges.


Social impact

The digital economy is transforming the way social interaction and personal relationships are conducted.

The wide range of new social networks has tremendous impact on societies’ collective behaviours, some negative, others positive. On the one hand, technology breaks down physical barriers and provides countless possibilities to communicate, interact and meet people without consideration for their countries of residence, social origin, or time constraint.

On the other hand, technology enables the individual to withdraw into to a virtual world where it is sometimes difficult to distinguish facts from fiction, opening the door to manipulation. Those who do not have the access or the ability to navigate the digital world are becoming outcasts – creating a digital divide.

The digital economy will see significant changes in the workplace where those with less education and training at higher risk of being permanently side-lined and creating a social stigma and stress for the individual, the family and the community. Though on the other hand social media has fostered an increased awareness of key social challenges facing society such as reducing inequalities, and lifting people out of isolation or poverty.

Today social security institutions must find ways to leverage technology to break down the barriers of isolation, the digital divide and mitigate the social impact of dramatic adjustments in the labour markets. They must harness the technology to protect the social investment throughout the life course particularly during key transition: from early childhood, to education, to the workplace, job loss and re-entry in the workforce, sickness and disability and retirement.

Social security institutions must explore ways to harness data to perform predictive analysis of risks and to design prevention measures that will preserve the social investment. They must identify the new risks faced by the individual, the family and the community to adapt its programme, with a view of empowerment.

Ten global challenges for social security

Media Monitor Media Monitor

27 April 2018 (20.09.2018) This report provides one of the first comparative studies of working conditions on five major micro-task platforms that operate globally.

26 April 2018 (18.12.2017) In December 2016, 4 agencies launched SmartStart, the first-ever government ‘life event’ project — a new approach where government services are based on key events in people’s lives, rather than how government agencies are set up.

20 April 2018

ECLAC (August 2017) Digital work platforms are transforming labor markets around the world. Firms that own, manage and deploy these work platforms have reframed employer–worker relations by defining their core business as the provision of the technology that enables certain services to be provided rather than the provision of those services, and offering their workers independent contractor arrangements rather than employee contracts. This has significant consequences in terms of wages, jobs security and other working conditions.

19 April 2018

The G7 Future of Work Forum is a platform where you can find strategies, good practices and experiences of G7 countries in addressing emerging labour market challenges. The Forum was adopted in 2017 by G7 Labour and Employment Ministers under the Italian Presidency and launched under the Canadian Presidency at the G7 Employment Ministerial meeting in March 2018. The Forum is hosted and managed by the OECD.

16 April 2018

New technologies make access to services easier and more convenient. Guangdong provides a model in China’s efforts to develop a national integrated social security information system

12 April 2018

OpenGovAsia (12.04.2018) To ensure that everyone can benefit from new technologies, policymakers will need to pursue education reforms that promote lifelong learning, maintain labour market flexibility, strengthen social protection systems, and reduce income inequality, The Asian Development Bank (ADB) issued its latest report yesterday on the impact of technological advances on labour markets in Asia.

12 April 2018

EurActiv (12.04.2018) Vingt-quatre pays de l’UE se sont engagés à se regrouper pour adopter une « approche européenne » vis-à-vis de l’intelligence artificielle, afin de concurrencer les géants technologiques américains et asiatiques. Les ministres ont signé une déclaration le 10 avril dans laquelle ils déclarent qu’ils envisageront de financer la recherche publique dans le domaine de l’intelligence artificielle, sans toutefois promettre un montant spécifique d’investissements.

11 April 2018

Development Pathways (24.10.2017) Biometric technology presents a huge opportunity to social protection programmes, in particular the potential to ensure that only eligible programme beneficiaries receive payments. But to fully realise the benefits of biometrics, social protection programmes need to work closely with national identity agencies who are better placed to provide individuals with a unique identity record and can match people with those records, writes Richard Chirchir.

9 April 2018

myjob (09.04.2018) Vor dem Hintergrund der Digitalisierung kommt es in der Arbeitswelt zu einem tief greifenden Wandel, der Unternehmen wie Mitarbeiter gleichermassen betrifft. Für beide gilt: Wer morgen noch erfolgreich sein will, muss umdenken. So hat sich in den vergangenen Jahren die Einstellung junger Menschen zur Arbeit grundlegend verändert



5 April 2018 (05.04.2018) ​L’Assurance retraite a désactivé sa page Facebook ce mercredi 4 avril afin de “protéger les données de ses utilisateurs", suite à l’affaire Cambridge Analytica et le détournement de plusieurs millions de profils d’utilisateurs du réseau social à des fins politiques.

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