NEW YORK, Oct. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are an urgent call for action by all countries – developed and developing – to come together in a global partnership for peace and prosperity for people and the planet. They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests. According to the UN Global Compact, more than 80% of its 9,500 corporate members have committed to advancing one or more of these 17 goals.
Vertic, a leading global independent digital agency has today advocated for an 18th SDG to be created: A Meaningful and Safe Digital Life. More than 4.5 billion people now use the internet and over 3.8 billion are active on social media, Data shows the average internet user now spends 6 hours and 42 minutes online each day, which equates to more than 100 days of connected time per internet user per year, or roughly 40 percent of our waking lives.
"It became clear to me that we live in a digital-first, work-from-home world, yet not one of the 17 Sustainable Goals addresses a fair, more liveable digital future for our fast-evolving and technology-driven world," says Sebastian Jespersen, CEO of Vertic. "What if we could significantly enhance our quality of life with an additional UN Sustainable Development Goal that encourages companies to use data for mutual benefit rather than for unwelcomed intrusion or manipulation?"
The increased need for data privacy has become a major issue of late with regulations like the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) leading the charge. While some consumers around the globe are gaining rights regarding how their data is collected, stored, and sold, while holding companies accountable when poor data security practices lead to data breaches involving their personally identifiable information (PII), there are also gaping holes for others.
"Today, the data brands retain about the people they serve is of little value if it's primarily used to harass people and intrude upon their online experience" continues Jespersen. "What if companies could commit to providing customers with a richer and protected online future through an enhanced and acceptable life with data? Our digital world should be as safe and livable as our physical world. Global corporations should act responsibly online as well as offline. As with all the other SDG areas, we need universal standards that go beyond national laws to protect users and their data."
Vertic has begun working with leading customers and partners to explore at the implications of how concerns about today's digital life can become part of a UN SDG initiative. The agency will release a series of videos with thought-leaders, technology providers and governmental organizations on the topic.
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Contact: Marwa Khalife, [email protected]