Horizons is a bi-monthly Dasym Research initiative to show you how the Dasym themes have been in the news. We publish the Horizons on our website and as an email newsletter. If you wish to receive the email, please contact Investor Relations.
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A virus going viral
A new coronavirus outbreak in China recalls the 2001-2003 SARS epidemic, which took about 800 lives and cost almost $40 billion. When SARS broke out, the Chinese government was accused of concealing the case. With this new virus, however, the adoption of digital technology is helping to track, contain and treat the disease and spread information more effectively. For instance, WeChat, China’s most popular messaging app, allows users to report incidents of the virus and tip-off about inadequate measures taken by local authorities. Furthermore, real-time data of patients (e.g. their whereabouts, symptoms) could enable authorities to implement effective measures (e.g. quarantining specific areas), while AI helps to track and predict the spread of the contagious disease. Telehealth services are also making an impact. Alibaba and PingAn are offering Hubei citizens free online consultations, which has helped reduce workloads of already overcrowded public hospitals. Meanwhile ZTE, a telecom equipment company, has created and tested a 5G network for hospitals to enable remote diagnostics that it plans to deploy at the emergency hospital being built in Wuhan.
Data privacy: complacent or compliant
It is almost two years since the European data privacy regulation GDPR came into force. Yet, according to a study from Cornell University only 11.8% of the top 10.000 websites in the U.K. are compliant with the GDPR consent requirements. Under GDPR, people must give explicit consent for data collection. Moreover, declining consent should be as simple as giving it. Most websites, however, imply consent when people continue to use a website or push people into giving consent by only providing an accept button. In some cases, it is difficult or even impossible to decline consent. While enforcement is slowly starting and many companies are waiting for case law that clarifies how the law should be interpreted, the practices described above are not allowed, so companies should adjust their privacy settings in order to prevent (heavy) fines. Meanwhile, privacy regulation will only become tighter, for instance with the Californian Consumer Privacy Act coming into effect this year. Aside from regulatory obligations, designing privacy-first websites should be beneficent for companies, since it communicates customer protection and helps to win trust.
Reading the radar
We are living in a time of accelerating change where hegemonic shifts, technological disruptions, and socio-cultural transitions are challenging our beliefs and practices. During the Freedomlab New Year’s event in January, we invited our knowledge network to reflect on last year’s most crucial developments – also covered in the Retroscope – and to discuss how these events tie in with or deviate from larger trends. Looking back to 2019 also served as a start point for further discussion to look forward to this year’s developments using our Opportunity Radar 2020. In this report, we cover 14 different themes, from the future of education and the future of food to the rise of Eurasian powers and the sensor-based economy. We link these themes to their geopolitical, technological and socio-cultural drivers and describe the developments that indicate at increased momentum for each theme. Moreover, within each theme, we identify future opportunities including a timeline. These opportunities are plotted into the Opportunity Radar, which can help both public and private decision-makers to anticipate the future and unlock society’s potential.