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BY THE SPANISH DATA PROTECTION AUTHORITY: If We Lost The Connection We Have Lost Everything. Digital Pact For Personal Data Protection.

BY THE SPANISH DATA PROTECTION AUTHORITY: if we lost the connection we have lost everything. Digital Pact for personal data protection.

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In a hyperconnected world, even more with the digital immersion due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is necessary to look at this new way to interrelate with others that is trying to influence us. 

Human beings are wired for their social connection. It is well known the study carried out by Rene Spitz in 1940 on children into orphanages, islated, who were not cuddled or loved, even if they were supported by correct hygiene and nutrition. 

The 37% of them died, the 55% of them developed a mental illness and all of them have shown a lower physical and mental development. 

Today, after 80 years, we can say that thanks to the technology we are more interrelated to each other but due to the pandemic we are facing a new epidemic: loneliness. One out three people are feeling lonely into the society.

The positive value of the technology and the contribution that social networks have given in those few months of pandemic in order to keep the personal contact and the working activity is undeniable.  Networks can enrich personal relationships, but when they are needed as substitutes of a real relationship can cause the opposite. According to the government delegation for the national anti drug plan, one in five young people has an addition to new technologies. The usage of computers is more than 90% among young people from 10 to 15 years old and the internet usage is more than 95%. According to the latest data of the INE, 70% of them have a mobile phone.

The heavy use of the technology does not mean being safe. We have all been educated not to run a red light in real life and we know the possible consequences of doing so, but it is necessary to educate the youngest in a regulated way to the responsible use of the Internet.

The organic law 3/2018 on personal data protection and the guarantee of digital rights, the article 83 asks for the inclusion of digital skills into the realization of the curriculum, as well as the responsible usage of internet and social network and, generally speaking, risky situations which can arise from an adequate use of TIC, with particular attention to violent situations on internet. 

To what extent have schools been able to influence the education of students?

The main mission of the Spanish Data Protection Agency (AEPD) is to protect this fundamental right of people, a right which exists also online. On the 28th of January we presented the Digital Pact for Personal Data Protection into the first Privacy, Innovation and Sustainability Forum. In the context of our Social Responsibility and Sustainability, more than 170 companies, organizations, fundations, media associations and audiovisual groups have already joined together in order to fight for the innovation, the personal data protection and ethic and in order to spread proactive initiatives and good practices which made up a better use of internet. 

When the violence reaches the Internet, the damage is immediate, strong, viral and with a high impact. About 60% of girls and teenagers is a victim of online bulism, 42% of them explain that due to this bulism they have lost their confidence in their own and the half of them think that the bulism on networks is still more intense than in the offline world, according to OGN Plan International Data. 

Initiatives such as the Priority Channel launched by the AEPD to call for the urgent withdrawal of sexual or violent content disseminated without the consent of the people who appear there, aim to offer a rapid response to cases of digital violence.

But it is necessary to start from the basis of these situations, that any person, underage or over, is aware before publishing or forwarding a content of this type of criminal liability, civil and administrative that may incur and that may destroy forever the life of someone other than his. For this reason, awareness campaigns such as “A click can ruin your life” are still necessary, because the consequences of a forward extend well beyond the second necessary to make that click.

This type of campaign, in addition to obtaining the commitment of organizations and offering services that allow progress towards a technologically more educated society, are necessary and important steps, but there is still much to be done.

The Authority wants this Digital Pact to be an additional part of what should be a great State Pact for the coexistence of citizens in the digital sphere. A State Pact unanimously by all political parties is fundamental to educating, from childhood, on the advantages and risks of the use of new technologies, and what are the red lights that can ruin a life forever.


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