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The Fate of Online Trust in the Next Decade
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The Fate of Online Trust in the Next Decade
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Trust is a social, economic and political binding agent. A vast research literature on trust and “social capital” documents the connections between trust and personal happiness, trust and other measures of well-being, trust and collective problem solving, trust and economic development and trust and social cohesion. Trust is the lifeblood of friendship and caregiving. When trust is absent, all kinds of societal woes unfold – including violence, social chaos and paralyzing risk-aversion.

We didn’t focus on how you could wreck this system intentionally [when designing the internet].Vinton Cerf

Trust has not been having a good run in recent years, and there is considerable concern that people’s uses of the internet are a major contributor to the problem. For starters, the internet was not designed with security protections or trust problems in mind. As Vinton Cerf, one of the creators of internet protocols, put it: “We didn’t focus on how you could wreck this system intentionally.” (Cerf is a respondent to the question addressed in this report; his worried quote is featured here.)

Moreover, the rise of the internet and social media has enabled entirely new kinds of relationships and communities in which trust must be negotiated with others whom users do not see, with faraway enterprises, under circumstances that are not wholly familiar, in a world exploding with information of uncertain provenance used by actors employing ever-proliferating strategies to capture users’ attention. In addition, the internet serves as a conduit for the public’s privacy to be compromised through surveillance and cyberattacks and additional techniques for them to fall victim to scams and bad actors.

If that were not challenging enough, the emergence of trust-jarring digital interactions has also coincided with a sharp decline in trust for major institutions, such as government (and Congress and the presidency), the news media, public schools, the church and banks.

The question arises, then: What will happen to online trust in the coming decade? In summer 2016, Pew Research Center and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center conducted a large canvassing of technologists, scholars, practitioners, strategic thinkers and other leaders, asking them to react to this framing of the issue:

Billions of people use cellphones and the internet now and hundreds of millions more are expected to come online in the next decade. At the same time, more than half of those who use the internet and cellphones still do not use that connectivity for shopping, banking, other important transactions and key social interactions. As more people move online globally, both opportunities and threats grow. Will people’s trust in their online interactions, their work, shopping, social connections, pursuit of knowledge and other activities be strengthened or diminished over the next 10 years?

Some 1,233 responded to this nonscientific canvassing: 48% chose the option that trust will be strengthened; 28% of these particular respondents believe that trust will stay the same; and 24% predicted that trust will be diminished. (See “About this canvassing of experts” for further details about the limits of this sample.)

Participants were asked to explain their answers and were offered the following prompt to consider: Which areas of life might experience the greatest impact? Economic activity? Health care? Education? Political and civic life? Cultural life? Will the impacts be mostly positive or negative? What role might the spread of blockchain systems play?

Many of these respondents made references to changes now being implemented or being considered to enhance the online trust environment. They mentioned the spread of encryption, better online identity-verification systems, tighter security standards in internet protocols, new laws and regulations, new techno-social systems like crowdsourcing and up-voting/down-voting or challenging online content.

One particular focus of participants’ answers involved blockchain technology, because our follow-up prompt specifically asked people to consider the role of blockchain in the future of trust on the internet. Blockchain is an encryption-protected digital ledger that is designed to facilitate transactions and interactions that are validated in a way that cannot be edited. Proponents have high hopes for the spread of blockchains. The Economist magazine has argued that blockchain “lets people who have no particular confidence in each other collaborate without having to go through a neutral central authority …. In essence it is a shared, trusted, public ledger that everyone can inspect, but which no one single user controls.” A more-complete outline of how blockchain operates and these survey respondents’ predictions about its future can be found in the discussion about Theme 4 later in this report.

The majority of participants in this canvassing wrote detailed elaborations explaining their positions. Some chose to have their names connected to their answers; others opted to respond anonymously. These findings do not represent all possible points of view, but they do reveal a wide range of striking observations. Respondents collectively articulated six major themes that are introduced and explained below and are expanded upon in sections that begin later in this report.

The following introductory section presents an overview of the themes found among the written responses, including a small selection of representative quotes supporting each point. Some comments are lightly edited for style or due to length.

Theme 1: Trust will strengthen because systems will improve and people will adapt to them and more broadly embrace them

About half the respondents to this canvassing believe that trust online will be strengthened in the next decade. Their reasoning generally flows in two streams: 1) Some expect to see improved technology emerge that will allow people to have confidence in the organizations and individuals with whom they interact online. They argue that improvements in identifying and authenticating users will build trust. They also maintain that the corporations depending on online activity have all the incentive they need to solve problems tied to trust. 2) Some say trust will grow stronger as users employ online activities more fully into their lives. They think this will be led by younger users who are fully immersed in online life.

We experience many reasons to distrust our interactions. … And yet, on a personal basis, as time goes by, we are more and more trusting.Stephen Downes

Adrian Hope-Bailie, standards officer at Ripple, replied, “The technology advancements that are happening today are beginning to bring together disparate but related fields such as finance, identity, health care, education and politics. It’s only a matter of time before some standards emerge that bind the ideas of identity and personal information with these verticals such that it becomes possible to share and exchange key information, as required, and with consent to facilitate much stronger trusted relationships between users and their service providers.”

Stephen Downes, researcher at National Research Council Canada, wrote, “We experience many reasons to distrust our interactions. And traditional media are reporting numerous cases where they should be distrusted, so we think rising distrust is the norm. And yet, on a personal basis, as time goes by, we are more and more trusting. People who did not even know people in other countries, much less trust them, now travel halfway around the world to participate in conferences, rent and live in their homes, meet on a date, participate in events and more. Sure, things like catfishing are problems. But the exception is a problem only in the light of the trust that is the rule (Wittgenstein: A rule is shown by its exceptions). People who did not trust online retail a decade ago now purchase games, music and media on a regular basis (they’re still a bit wary of deliveries from China, but they’re coming around to it). People who did not trust online banking a decade ago now find it a much more convenient and inexpensive way to pay their bills. They also like the idea that their credit cards are now protected. People who were sceptical of online learning a decade ago now live in an era when, in some programs, some online learning is required, and where there is no real distinction (and no way to distinguish) between an online or offline degree (and meanwhile, millions of people flood in to take MOOCs). We can see where this trend is heading by looking at a few edge cases. For example: What would we say of a pilot who never trained in a simulator? What would we say of a lawyer who did not rely on data search, indexing and retrieval services? We trust them more in the future because they are taking advantage of advanced technology to support their work.”

David Karger, professor of computer science at MIT, urges a “healthy distrust” and encourages the public be more vigilant in working to understand the risks and limitations of emerging technologies. “We’ve seen tremendous growth in use of these online tools,” he wrote, “so it is natural to assume it will continue. Your specific question of trust is a complicated one. On the one hand, I believe we are just at the beginning of development of good online tools and I expect significant improvement – even over the next 10 years – that will draw more users to these better tools. On the flip side, I at least hope that people will become generally more educated about the risks and limitations of online interactions, which may lead to a certain healthy distrust even as usage becomes more widespread.”

Subtheme: Improved technology plus regulatory and industry changes will help increase trust

Many technologists and futures thinkers among the respondents said they expect that constantly evolving improvements in the network of networks will maintain or boost trust; some also added that security cannot be completely perfected and staying ahead of the “darker forces” will require vigilance. Some suggested regulation. An anonymous respondent said, “Trust will be increased if governments put in place policies for consumer protection, data protection, etc.”

We need to get serious about creating a truly secure internet if it is to realize the potential for empowering a big portion of the world.Richard Adler

Mike Roberts, Internet Hall of Fame member and first president and CEO of ICANN, wrote, “The designers, developers and users of computer-based systems are still in a primitive era. From an S curve perspective, we are hardly at the steep lower-left end. The rise of an entrepreneurial culture among developers has accelerated the diffusion of these systems but there is far to go. Because of the tangible benefits in convenience, quality, quantity, etc., of using such systems, humans will develop advanced techniques for protection from criminal behavior on the ‘net,’ but such activity will persist online as it does offline. You don’t stop going to the grocery store because there was a carjacking incident last week, etc.”

Richard Adler, distinguished fellow at the Institute for the Future, observed, “Technologies such as biometrics, encryption, digital IDs, blockchain and smart contracts are emerging that can enhance security and build trust. But they are in a race with darker forces who continue to become more effective in breaching security measures. We need to get serious about creating a truly secure internet if it is to realize the potential for empowering a big portion of the world.”

Oscar Gandy, emeritus professor of communication at the University of Pennsylvania, commented, “Of course, as a privacy and surveillance scholar, my answer is more hopeful than analytical. I am hopeful that the public will become much more aware, and less ‘resigned’ to the fact that their transaction-generated information (TGI) is routinely used to shape their experience within economic, social and political markets/environments. These areas of impact are tightly interconnected, although some analytical assessments can determine differential influences for different population segments. I am most concerned about the nature and extent of surveillance and the strategic use of TGI in the public sphere, or in ‘political and civic life.’ Hopefully, the public will come to understand the myriad ways through which their TGI is used to shape the information environment in which they make important choices, including those we would identify as being political. What I have seen of late leads me to see the balance between benefits and harms in the political area to be largely negative, and worsening.”

Hume Winzar, associate professor in business at Macquarie University in Australia, wrote, “Governments and financial companies want their systems secure and transparent, so they will work hard to make them so. This will relieve people’s concerns. Also, many services will be simply unavailable except online, so people will have to trust them whether they’re skeptical or not.”

Subtheme: The younger generation and people whose lives rely on technology the most are the vanguard of those who most actively use it, and these groups will grow larger

Some respondents observed that familiarity breeds acceptance, thus those who are younger and have spent most of their lifetimes immersed in implementing online are those least likely to see trust issues as a reason to deny themselves the affordances of online life. One noted it will be “like the air we breathe.”

The internet will be so ubiquitous that it will be like the air we breathe: Bad some days, good others, but not something we consciously interrogate anymore.Sam Anderson

Glenn Ricart, Internet Hall of Fame member and founder and chief technology officer of U.S. Ignite, said, “Trust will be strengthened over the next decade because there is a strong generational shift to interacting online. The expectation of Millennials and others is that they can and should be able to trust online transactions. That expectation will provide fuel to efforts improving trust.”

David Durant, a business analyst for the UK Government Digital Service, wrote, “People who have grown up using mobile technology for social media, interaction with businesses and increasingly as a way to interact with government will see doing so as entirely normal and consider it the natural channel for a very significant proportion of all their life’s interactions.”

Sam Anderson, coordinator of instructional design at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, wrote, “The internet will be so ubiquitous that it will be like the air we breathe: Bad some days, good others, but not something we consciously interrogate anymore.”

Theme 2: The nature of trust will be more fluid as technology embeds itself into human and organizational relationships

One striking line of argument, particularly among some of the most prominent analysts responding to this canvassing, is that trust will become a more conditional and contextual attribute of users’ online behavior. They argue that trust is becoming “transactional” – an idea distinct from the notion that trust is a kind of property tied to an individual, group or organization. A number of respondents added that throughout human history the highest levels of trust are often found within personal networks, rather than via organizational actors.

Actually, trust will be both strengthened and diminished [in the coming decade], depending on context.danah boyd

Dan McGarry, media director at the Vanuatu Daily Post, wrote, “Trust will change in its nature. It will no longer be invested so much in systems and institutions as in individuals. Relationships will matter. On the negative side, much behaviour will be defined by allegiance, which will allow some actors to motivate significant numbers to act against their own interests at times. The human capacity to invest trust in others won’t change unless we undergo significant evolutionary change.”

Cory Doctorow, writer, computer science activist-in-residence at MIT Media Lab and co-owner of Boing Boing, responded, “The increased impoverishment/immiseration of larger and larger segments of society thanks to mounting wealth inequality will drive more reliance on informal networks, barter, sharing, etc., that will be enabled through online activity.”

Subtheme: Trust will be dependent upon immediate context and applied differently in different circumstances

While many institutions have gained the public’s trust over time, many are now being questioned. Some respondents say that individuals’ influence has gained more importance in this atmosphere, and trust is – now and in the coming decade – more likely to be applied differently to different circumstances. An anonymous respondent replied, “The change will be in the dynamism of trust, not the valence. We will place small amounts of trust in people and organizations and exit or voice more quickly when we sense it has been violated.”

danah boyd, founder of Data & Society, commented, “Actually, trust will be both strengthened and diminished [in the coming decade], depending on context. People will stop seeing it as ‘the internet’ and focus more on particular relationships. Increasingly, large swaths of the population in environments where tech is pervasive have no other model.”

Aaron Chia Yuan Hung, assistant professor at Adelphi University, replied, “People will change what they trust. Just as people used to prefer an oral agreement over a signature in the past, people grow to accept what they can or are willing to trust. People are also likely to believe what they want to believe because confirmation bias is inherently human nature. Farhad Manjoo’s ‘True Enough’ is a wonderful read on this topic. It does make critical thinking more difficult, and education must play a big role in making sure people look at people, facts, data, etc., with a more analytic lens.”

Subtheme: Trust is not binary or evenly distributed; there are different levels of it

Bob Frankston, internet pioneer and software innovator, commented, “The choices for the question are too limited. Trust is not binary. We need to have new forms of trust and Plan B’s for when trust fails. This is where algorithms can help – as with credit card companies seeing patterns – but it cuts both ways.”

Andrew Walls, managing vice president at Gartner, said, “Trust is not achieved merely through effective implementation of security processes and systems. Trust is a quality of a relationship between two entities. Trust is also both a conscious and unconscious attribute of a relationship. For example, many people state that they do not trust Facebook, yet the behavior of those same people demonstrates that they entrust Facebook with many details of their lives. It is possible to claim that these people do not understand the ‘trust’ ramifications and implications of their sharing behavior in social media, but that same claim can be made of every social interaction, online or otherwise. Rather than speak of trust as an absolute or binary situation (trusted or untrusted), trust must be viewed as a spectrum or continuum with multiple levels. For example, I might trust a bank with my money, but I do not trust them with the details of my social life, whereas, I won’t trust my cousin with my money but will trust him/her with details of my social life. Trust is a subtle, dynamic attribute of social relationships between entities.”

Theme 3: Trust will not grow, but technology usage will continue to rise, as a ‘new normal’ sets in

Are people “placing trust” in a technology when they use it or are they just willingly taking a chance in order to obtain or attain something they desire? A significant share of participants think it is the latter. They argued that the level of online activity by 2026 might make it appear as if the level of trust is fairly high, but the more appropriate way to interpret it will be that people are resigned to operating in an environment that does not allow them to be selective about whom they trust.

Trust will be strengthened, but it will be blind trust enforced by the ceaseless demands of The System, hell-bent to drive everyone online.Ebenezer Baldwin Bowles

Ebenezer Baldwin Bowles, founder of Corndancer.com, wrote, “Trust will be strengthened, but it will be blind trust enforced by the ceaseless demands of The System, hell-bent to drive everyone online. ‘Resistance is futile,’ the alien superpower said to the altruistic starship captain. Resistance to the interests of the corporate state will be futile if one wants to participate in the commonplace activities of household management and personal finances, or seek diagnosis and treatment from medical practitioners, or pass a bricks-and-mortar course in high school or university.”

David Sarokin, author of “Missed Information: Better Information for Building a Wealthier, More Sustainable Future,” wrote, “I’m not sure ‘trust’ is the right word here. It’s more a matter of attrition and familiarity. As more and more activities migrate online, and as ever larger numbers of people simply grow up with the internet, it seems inevitable that its use will expand, both in terms of overall numbers of people using it [and] the types and scopes of activities available.”

An anonymous research professor proclaimed, “Trust is dead now. Thus, it will stay the same: Dead.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “The general public trust in these systems will grow … but the question of whether such trust will be deserved … remains to be seen. Call it trust by default, in the same way we are powerless to criticize a surgeon’s or airline pilot’s technical maneuvers.”

Subtheme: ‘The trust train has left the station’; sacrifices tied to trust are a ‘side effect of progress’

Some respondents argued that trust cannot be assumed to be an element of transactions, and many who used the word “trust” in saying they expect higher participation in online interaction may likely agree that their use of it was as a slightly inaccurate umbrella term used to match up with the language of the survey question and that it actually might signify they see a likely rise in people’s participation, trusting or not.

An anonymous chief marketing officer commented, “The trust train has left the station, continues to gain speed, and shows very little chance of slowing down. As mobile payment technology proliferates, from our phones to our watches to our Internet of Things devices, and as digital natives continue to grow in their share of the world’s economic power, concerns about trust in online interactions will seem antiquated and quaint. Breaches may continue and even proliferate, but the technologies will be so embedded in our lives that they will be considered a mere inconvenient side effect of progress.”

Brad Templeton, chair for computing at Singularity University, wrote, “Trust will be strengthened even though that may be an unjustified trust. Our systems are today extremely insecure and we trust them, and those who are not using them are not staying away because of [a lack of] trust. Also, I think billions more will come online, not hundreds of millions. Biggest impacts will be in economic activity and cultural life.”

Bart Knijnenburg, assistant professor in human-centered computing at Clemson University, responded, “Secure technologies will not do much to increase trust, because most people simply don’t understand them. They will just run in the background.”

Peter Levine, Lincoln Filene professor and associate dean for research at Tisch College of Civic Life, Tufts University, said, “I suspect that people will gain trust in electronic tools, per se, so that more people will be willing to bank, vote, shop, etc., online. But distrust in the underlying institutions continues to grow, and I am not particularly optimistic that it will change.”

Subtheme: People often become attached to convenience and inured to risk

Convenience is one of the most-recognized features of all new technologies, including the internet. A number of respondents made the case that it is the convenience of using popular internet applications that makes the internet most appealing and addictive. Further, they noted that it is convenience that creates the most challenges for internet users when it comes to trust. In making trust decisions, people weigh risk and reward and generally choose reward.

Give me convenience or give me death.Anonymous respondent

An anonymous respondent adapted a classic line from U.S. history, writing:
“Give me convenience or give me death.”

Tom Ryan, CEO of eLearn Institute Inc., replied, “‘Trust’ is neither the inhibitor nor driver for adoption of online interactions. Convenience will drive adoption. For example, motor vehicle deaths in the U.S. reached as high as 51,091 in 1980 and still remain over 30,000 deaths annually, yet the number of vehicles registered in the U.S. continues to grow. People accept the life-or-death consequences of driving for the convenience it provides. I recognize the threat that a hacker and some businesses may pose, through internet access, of my health and financial data, but the convenience and benefit I perceive keeps me online.”

An anonymous respondent noted, “People will distrust more and more and still accept the use of these systems more and more.”

An anonymous network architect at Vodafone noted, “For the reasons trust will be strengthened refer to Cory Doctorow’s ‘peak indifference’ essay.”

Louisa Heinrich, founder at Superhuman Limited, wrote, “I fear trust will be diminished (i.e., we will be certain we are being watched, that our communications and interactions are not secure) but we will use the technology anyway, either because we have no other choice or because it’s just too convenient.”

Subtheme: There will be no choice for users but to comply and hope for the best

Some respondents noted that there will be no alternative but to use online systems, whether they trust them or not – and many who use them will not necessarily do so because they “trust” them.

An anonymous respondent commented, “When compliance can be mechanically enforced at scale, trust is unnecessary.”

Randy Bush, research fellow at Internet Initiative Japan and Internet Hall of Fame member, wrote, “Given that there will be less and less alternatives to electronic paths to daily transactions, people will have no choice but to ‘trust’ them. But they will remain nervous, with justification.”

Naomi Baron, a linguistics professor at American University, replied, “To the extent that more and more people use the internet for these kinds of connectivity, logic suggests we conclude that trust in the system will be strengthened. However, I suspect that what in fact will be happening is that people will increasingly stop thinking about the trust issue, sensing they have no other option but the internet for conducting the business of daily life. Much as internet users today commonly believe they have no choice when it comes to giving up privacy, I predict users will feel the same way about trust.”

Tony Pichotta, creative director at Recess Creative, replied, “Online interactions will be strengthened because of the lack of alternatives. Systemic technologies will shape the masses, leaving the dissenters out in the wilderness.”

An anonymous researcher at the MIT Center for Civic Media said, “Trust is less relevant when there is no need to develop loyalty because there are no alternatives. We will use what we have available and mistrust it because there won’t be obvious incentives for service providers to work in our favor. Worldwide, people will increasingly use cellphones and the internet to do work, shop, engage socially and learn. People will use these services because they have no choice, as the services will not be available offline as it’s too expensive to maintain brick and mortar (something we are seeing in banking, retail and government services). And there will be few options because value is determined by the network effects leveraged by many companies.”

Theme 4: Some say blockchain could help; some expect its value might be limited

One of the most interesting developments online in the past decade has been the rise of blockchain systems, which were first created to enable the use of the digital currency bitcoin. Blockchain product designer Collin Thompson describes blockchain as “a type of distributed ledger or decentralized database that keeps records of digital transactions. Rather than having a central administrator like a traditional database – think banks, governments and accountants – a distributed ledger has a network of replicated databases, synchronized via the internet and visible to anyone within the network.” He elaborates on the blockchain process:

“When a digital transaction is carried out, it is grouped together in a cryptographically protected block with other transactions that have occurred in the last 10 minutes and sent out to the entire network …. The validated block of transactions is then timestamped and added to a chain in a linear, chronological order. New blocks of validated transactions are linked to older blocks, making a chain of blocks that show every transaction made in the history of that blockchain. The entire chain is continually updated so that every ledger in the network is the same, giving each member the ability to prove who owns what at any given time.”

Such a dependable ledger could conceivably be used for securing any kind of transaction, and that has prompted advocates to argue that it could replace the kinds of activities now performed by trusted – and expensive – intermediaries such as banks, firms that validate real estate transactions, accounting operations and legal services.

Of course, this might powerfully affect the overall level of trust in online interactions, thus we asked respondents to consider in their written elaborations the impact of blockchains on trust in the next decade. A number were quite positive, but some expressed reservations about how rapidly and effectively blockchains would be adopted.

Strengthened trust is my hope, not a prediction. It is the great promise of blockchain of course, in combination with a host of other privacy and trust technologies, that it will make trusted peer-to-peer transactions possible.Marcel Bullinga

Susan Price, digital architect at Continuum Analytics, said, “Blockchain technologies hold the most promise for making such a trust system possible. Much will depend on the first few popular examples. Although blockchains so far remain robustly secure, systems that interface with and leverage them are subject to the same security problems we’re familiar with (e.g., Ethereum’s DAO recursive hack). Let’s assume blockchain technologies and related will make such a trust system possible. Individuals could conduct secure trades with one another without the use of intermediaries, or with intermediaries operating at greatly reduced costs. More people worldwide could find sustaining outlets for their creativity and endeavors. The financial services industry will be revolutionized and reinvented. With little to no ‘float’ for exchanges of value, whole sectors such as clearinghouses will vanish. Citizens of countries where payments are most delayed today will enjoy faster settlement and thus their citizens enjoy less graft and corruption and benefit more directly from their productivity. Voting and civil rights will be completely transformed. It will be feasible for political structures to transcend geography. Though we’ll still need local law enforcement and security forces, we could choose to become ‘citizens’ of organizations with specific goals, agendas and benefits that align with our needs and beliefs regardless of our current location or residence. This could speed human rights advances and productivity even more. Health care and advances in medical technology and solutions would evolve more quickly and be available to more people. This utopian view assumes that the identity interface remains outside the direct control of any corporation or government. Distributed control over such a system is vital to prevent abuses (or to recover from power plays or attacks).”

Marcel Bullinga, trend watcher and keynote speaker, wrote, “Strengthened trust is my hope, not a prediction. It is the great promise of blockchain of course, in combination with a host of other privacy and trust technologies, that it will make trusted peer-to-peer transactions possible. This is not in the interest of current technology companies and powerful p[...]

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Dates importantes

Clôture de la sélection 29 novembre 2017

Confirmation de la sélection 15 mars 2018

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S'IL VOUS PLAIT ! SEULS LES FILMS TRAITANT DU HANDICAP SONT ADMIS A PARTICIPER A LA SELECTION. Tous le[...]

Actualité
Il y a 6 minutes
Moteurline

Agenda :

Entr'2 Marches.

Le Festival International du Court-Métrage sur le Thème du Handicap.

du 13 au 18 mai 2018. Cannes.

Site web : https://www.entr2marches.com.


Dates importantes

Clôture de la sélection 29 novembre 2017

Confirmation de la sélection 15 mars 2018

Pour participer au FESTIVAL INTERNATIONAL ENTR'2 MARCHES, vous devez proposer un court-métrage sur le thème du handicap, d'une durée maximum de 26 minutes. Votre film doit être sous-titré en langue française en blanc et en langue anglaise en orange. Nous ne pouvons sélectionner qu'un seul film par réalisateur par année.

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Santé Environnement

Bruxelles, le 15 mars 2017 - Pour IEW et l'association européenne Alliance pour la santé et l'environnement (HEAL), la décision de l'Agence européenne des produits chimiques (ECHA) selon laquelle le glyphosate n'est pas cancérigène suscite de graves inquiétudes pour la santé et l'environnement et constitue une déception majeure pour les acteurs de la santé environnementale []] .

L'avis du Comité pour l'évaluation des risques de l'ECHA contredit celui du centre international de recherche contre le cancer (CIRC), qui a classé le glyphosate comme « cancérogène probable » en 2015. Pour Génon K. Jensen, directrice exécutive de HEAL, la décision d'aujourd'hui est un recul pour la prévention du cancer : « Nous nous attendions à ce que dans le futur, la décision du CIRC soit reconnue comme étant la plus pertinente. Toujours est-il que l'Europe s'apprête à donner le feu vert au glyphosate le feu vert et la santé publique perdra une occasion importante pour la prévention du cancer. Les taux de cancer peuvent être réduits en retirant des produits chimiques dangereux du marché ».

L'avis de l'ECHA n'est pas facile à comprendre. Mme Jensen poursuit : « le CIRC est la référence internationale pour l'évaluation des substances cancérigènes. Il est incompréhensible que les institutions de l'UE arrivent à un résultat aussi radicalement différent : le comité de l'ECHA n'a même pas donné au glyphosate le classement d'un « carcinogène possible ». C'est le genre de contradiction qui nourrit les soupçons du public quant à la fiabilité des opinions des agences scientifiques de l'UE ».

L'opinion du CIRC se base notamment sur sept études qui ont montré une incidence tumorale significativement accrue chez les rats et les souris après que le glyphosate leur a été administré. Toutefois, les résultats de l'ECHA n'ont pas été complètement inattendus, étant donné que les avis précédents de l'Autorité européenne de sécurité des aliments (EFSA) et de l'Institut fédéral allemand d'évaluation des risques (BfR) avaient tous deux rejeté les éléments de preuves contenus dans ces sept études. Des critiques ont été formulées à propos de ce rejet, notamment par Peter Clausing dans le document “The Carcinogenic Hazard of Glyphosate [2]]” . L'évaluation de l'ECHA, tout en reconnaissant l'augmentation limitée d'incidence des tumeurs de manière souffre des mêmes problèmes d'analyse que l'EFSA et le BfR pour parvenir à la conclusion qu'elles ne constituent pas une preuve suffisante de cancérogénicité.

Le manque de transparence dans le processus de classification des agences européennes est de plus en plus préoccupant. Une lettre conjointe (http://env-health.org/IMG/pdf/open_letter_to_echa_06032017.pdf) adressée à la Commission par Greenpeace, HEAL et de nombreux autres groupes a souligné que le comité de l'ECHA utilisait des « preuves scientifiques non publiées et fournies par l'industrie pour formuler ses avis » en plus des études publiées dans des revues à comité de lecture.

La lettre exprimait également des préoccupations au sujet des conflits d'intérêts de certains membres du comité d'experts de l'ECHA. « Nous vous demandons respectueusement d'appliquer et d'améliorer les politiques de l'ECHA pour préserver son indépendance vis-à-vis de l'industrie et la transparence de son travail », précise la lettre.

En février 2017, le Commissaire européen pour la santé et la sécurité alimentaire, Vytinis Andriukeitas, a également exprimé ses préoccupations et a suggéré qu'une réforme pourrait être nécessaire. Selon le procès-verbal d'une réunion de la Commission européenne [3]], il a déclaré : « Le principal problème, selon lui, est le manque de confiance du public dans la science et le sentiment que l'Europe ne les protége pas suffisamment des effets de certaines substances chimiques ». Le procès-verbal indique également qu'Andriukeitas a estimé que cela impliquait « une réforme des agences de l'UE chargées de fournir la base scientifique de ces décisions et de leurs procédures pour les rendre plus transparentes ».

Cette décision est d'autant plus inattendue que les éléments de preuves à charge du glyphosate continuent de s'accumuler. Très récemment, une étude sur les rats a montré qu'[...]

Actualité
Il y a 7 minutes
Santé Environnement

Bruxelles, le 15 mars 2017 - Pour IEW et l'association européenne Alliance pour la santé et l'environnement (HEAL), la décision de l'Agence européenne des produits chimiques (ECHA) selon laquelle le glyphosate n'est pas cancérigène suscite de graves inquiétudes pour la santé et l'environnement et constitue une déception majeure pour les acteurs de la santé environnementale []] .

L'avis du Comité pour l'évaluation des risques de l'ECHA contredit celui du centre international de recherche contre le cancer (CIRC), qui a classé le glyphosate comme « cancérogène probable » en 2015. Pour Génon K. Jensen, directrice exécutive de HEAL, la décision d'aujourd'hui est un recul pour la prévention du cancer : « Nous nous attendions à ce que dans le futur, la décision du CIRC soit reconnue comme étant la plus pertinente. Toujours est-il que l'Europe s'apprête à donner le feu vert au glyphosate le feu vert et la santé publique perdra une occasion importante pour la prévention du cancer. Les taux de cancer peuvent être réduits en retirant des produits chimiques dangereux du marché ».

L'avis de l'ECHA n'est pas facile à comprendre. Mme Jensen poursuit : « le CIRC est la référence internationale pour l'évaluation des substances cancérigènes. Il est incompréhensible que les institutions de l'UE arrivent à un résultat aussi radicalement différent : le comité de l'ECHA n'a même pas donné au glyphosate le classement d'un « carcinogène possible ». C'est le genre de contradiction qui nourrit les soupçons du public quant à la fiabilité des opinions des agences scientifiques de l'UE ».

L'opinion du CIRC se base notamment sur sept études qui ont montré une incidence tumorale significativement accrue chez les rats et les souris après que le glyphosate leur a été administré. Toutefois, les résultats de l'ECHA n'ont pas été complètement inattendus, étant donné que les avis précédents de l'Autorité européenne de sécurité des aliments (EFSA) et de l'Institut fédéral allemand d'évaluation des risques (BfR) avaient tous deux rejeté les éléments de preuves contenus dans ces sept études. Des critiques ont été formulées à propos de ce rejet, notamment par Peter Clausing dans le document “The Carcinogenic Hazard of Glyphosate [2]]” . L'évaluation de l'ECHA, tout en reconnaissant l'augmentation limitée d'incidence des tumeurs de manière souffre des mêmes problèmes d'analyse que l'EFSA et le BfR pour parvenir à la conclusion qu'elles ne constituent pas une preuve suffisante de cancérogénicité.

Le manque de transparence dans le processus de classification des agences européennes est de plus en plus préoccupant. Une lettre conjointe (http://env-health.org/IMG/pdf/open_letter_to_echa_06032017.pdf) adressée à la Commission par Greenpeace, HEAL et de nombreux autres groupes a souligné que le comité de l'ECHA utilisait des « preuves scientifiques non publiées et fournies par l'industrie pour formuler ses avis » en plus des études publiées dans des revues à comité de lecture.

La lettre exprimait également des préoccupations au sujet des conflits d'intérêts de certains membres du comité d'experts de l'ECHA. « Nous vous demandons respectueusement d'appliquer et d'améliorer les politiques de l'ECHA pour préserver son indépendance vis-à-vis de l'industrie et la transparence de son travail », précise la lettre.

En février 2017, le Commissaire européen pour la santé et la sécurité alimentaire, Vytinis Andriukeitas, a également exprimé ses préoccupations et a suggéré qu'une réforme pourrait être nécessaire. Selon le procès-verbal d'une réunion de la Commission européenne [3]], il a déclaré : « Le principal problème, selon lui, est le manque de confiance du public dans la science et le sentiment que l'Europe ne les protége pas suffisamment des effets de certaines substances chimiques ». Le procès-verbal indique également qu'Andriukeitas a estimé que cela impliquait « une réforme des agences de l'UE chargées de fournir la base scientifique de ces décisions et de leurs procédures pour les rendre plus transparentes ».

Cette décision est d'autant plus inattendue que les éléments de preuves à charge du glyphosate continuent de s'accumuler. Très récemment, une étude sur les rats a montré qu'[...]

Actualité
Il y a 7 minutes
Santé Environnement

Bruxelles, le 15 mars 2017 - Pour IEW et l'association européenne Alliance pour la santé et l'environnement (HEAL), la décision de l'Agence européenne des produits chimiques (ECHA) selon laquelle le glyphosate n'est pas cancérigène suscite de graves inquiétudes pour la santé et l'environnement et constitue une déception majeure pour les acteurs de la santé environnementale []] .

L'avis du Comité pour l'évaluation des risques de l'ECHA contredit celui du centre international de recherche contre le cancer (CIRC), qui a classé le glyphosate comme « cancérogène probable » en 2015. Pour Génon K. Jensen, directrice exécutive de HEAL, la décision d'aujourd'hui est un recul pour la prévention du cancer : « Nous nous attendions à ce que dans le futur, la décision du CIRC soit reconnue comme étant la plus pertinente. Toujours est-il que l'Europe s'apprête à donner le feu vert au glyphosate le feu vert et la santé publique perdra une occasion importante pour la prévention du cancer. Les taux de cancer peuvent être réduits en retirant des produits chimiques dangereux du marché ».

L'avis de l'ECHA n'est pas facile à comprendre. Mme Jensen poursuit : « le CIRC est la référence internationale pour l'évaluation des substances cancérigènes. Il est incompréhensible que les institutions de l'UE arrivent à un résultat aussi radicalement différent : le comité de l'ECHA n'a même pas donné au glyphosate le classement d'un « carcinogène possible ». C'est le genre de contradiction qui nourrit les soupçons du public quant à la fiabilité des opinions des agences scientifiques de l'UE ».

L'opinion du CIRC se base notamment sur sept études qui ont montré une incidence tumorale significativement accrue chez les rats et les souris après que le glyphosate leur a été administré. Toutefois, les résultats de l'ECHA n'ont pas été complètement inattendus, étant donné que les avis précédents de l'Autorité européenne de sécurité des aliments (EFSA) et de l'Institut fédéral allemand d'évaluation des risques (BfR) avaient tous deux rejeté les éléments de preuves contenus dans ces sept études. Des critiques ont été formulées à propos de ce rejet, notamment par Peter Clausing dans le document “The Carcinogenic Hazard of Glyphosate [2]]” . L'évaluation de l'ECHA, tout en reconnaissant l'augmentation limitée d'incidence des tumeurs de manière souffre des mêmes problèmes d'analyse que l'EFSA et le BfR pour parvenir à la conclusion qu'elles ne constituent pas une preuve suffisante de cancérogénicité.

Le manque de transparence dans le processus de classification des agences européennes est de plus en plus préoccupant. Une lettre conjointe (http://env-health.org/IMG/pdf/open_letter_to_echa_06032017.pdf) adressée à la Commission par Greenpeace, HEAL et de nombreux autres groupes a souligné que le comité de l'ECHA utilisait des « preuves scientifiques non publiées et fournies par l'industrie pour formuler ses avis » en plus des études publiées dans des revues à comité de lecture.

La lettre exprimait également des préoccupations au sujet des conflits d'intérêts de certains membres du comité d'experts de l'ECHA. « Nous vous demandons respectueusement d'appliquer et d'améliorer les politiques de l'ECHA pour préserver son indépendance vis-à-vis de l'industrie et la transparence de son travail », précise la lettre.

En février 2017, le Commissaire européen pour la santé et la sécurité alimentaire, Vytinis Andriukeitas, a également exprimé ses préoccupations et a suggéré qu'une réforme pourrait être nécessaire. Selon le procès-verbal d'une réunion de la Commission européenne [3]], il a déclaré : « Le principal problème, selon lui, est le manque de confiance du public dans la science et le sentiment que l'Europe ne les protége pas suffisamment des effets de certaines substances chimiques ». Le procès-verbal indique également qu'Andriukeitas a estimé que cela impliquait « une réforme des agences de l'UE chargées de fournir la base scientifique de ces décisions et de leurs procédures pour les rendre plus transparentes ».

Cette décision est d'autant plus inattendue que les éléments de preuves à charge du glyphosate continuent de s'accumuler. Très récemment, une étude sur les rats a montré qu'[...]

Actualité
Il y a 8 minutes
Santé Environnement

Glyphosate, pesticides perturbateurs endocriniens, dépendance aux pesticides, … autant de sujets très présents dans l'actualité qui préoccupent les citoyens mais qui peuvent aussi le laisser perplexe au regard de la complexité des enjeux. La consultation publique du Plan d'action national 2018-2024 (NAPAN) relatif à l'utilisation durable des pesticides n'échappe pas à cette complexité malgré la coordination entre Régions pour présenter un Plan national. Les 120 mesures qui le constituent, leur technicité et l'absence d'objectifs globaux peuvent freiner les citoyens les plus avertis. Les associations environnementales proposent aux citoyens une consultation « simplifiée » leur permettant d'exprimer leur avis sur ces mesures qui ont une incidence sur la santé des utilisateurs, des riverains, mais aussi sur la qualité de l'eau et sur la biodiversité.

Pour aider le citoyen à remettre un avis sur ce plan, les associations proposent un décryptage des points essentiels. Elles ont évalué l'ensemble des mesures proposées au regard d'enjeux prioritaires liés à la santé et l'environnement et proposent une série d'améliorations au projet de plan. Sur base de cette analy[...]