Dutch Ombudsman: The human factor should be taken into account when switching to digital

Last week Reinier van Zutphen, the Dutch National Ombudsman, stated that citizens should keep the possibility to communicate with the government using paper and not only digitally. Vulnerable groups, he added, could suffer in our society due to continuous technological developments.

Van Zutphen has nothing against the process of digitization. However, he sees that  ”Digitalisation puts the independence of many older people under pressure. They wonder how they can get information, what it means to them.  And there were also people who said that receiving a paper letter is really important for them.”

The Ombudsman believes it is important that some groups continue to have the option not to turn digital. “Digital is fine, but there are groups of people in our society who need to connect in some way with the government. It is about the human factor.”

This is fully in line with our campaign and we are very happy to see this development. This comes after the Ombudsman’s announcement last November regarding the start of a large-scale investigation into the requirement to only receive digital communication from the tax authorities. The investigation was prompted when he received more than 450 complaints from concerned citizens.

To see more, visit: http://www.telegraaf.nl/binnenland/24978434/__Contact_mag_niet_alleen_digitaal__.html?utm_source=mail&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=email (in Dutch).