The President of the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland, Manfred Rekowski, sees opportunities and dangers in the digitalization of the world of work. In order to be able to evaluate digital products and services, Rekowski proposes a seal of approval.
"We will not be able to stop the technological progress. It’s about shaping it and strengthening entrepreneurs who want to behave ethically in a conscious way," he said on Thursday after a visit to the former church of St. Elisabeth in Aachen, which as a digital church offers space for digital start-ups.
Digitalization is greatly changing the economy and society, Rekowski said in his presidential blog. Often, he says, ies are so complex that ethical evaluation is difficult. He also said that there had been rationalizations in working life even before digitalization. It is problematic when individual digital platforms have a virtual monopoly, he said.
Appeal to consumers
The free-of-charge mentality that is widespread on the Internet does not lead to ethical digital services, he said. "Here, as consumers, we must also be willing to pay an appropriate fee for services," Rekowski said.
In order to be able to orientate themselves ethically, it might be advisable for consumers – similar to fair trade – to have a seal for digital services and products. As a positive example, the president described a pair of digital data glasses presented to him that provides migrants with information graphically rather than linguistically in German during qualification measures. According to Rekowski, the church must reflect on the opportunities and risks as well as the social consequences of digitalization. "This can only be done through dialogue," said the president.