Our annual survey, European Tech Insights, explores how European citizens feel about technological change and the governance of emerging technologies. In a context of geopolitical conflict, the 2022 edition focuses on the concerns of European citizens regarding cyberattacks, the spread of fake news and the harmful use of technology. It also looks into digital rights, automation and the future of work, and the digitalization of money.
The current geopolitical climate has led to heightened fears of cyber-attacks, with most Europeans fearing one. Over two thirds of Europeans (67%) are worried about the possibility of a cyberattack on critical infrastructure in their country.
Nonetheless, the report also highlights that many citizens support the use of technology by their governments and believe technology is strengthening democracy. 64% of Europeans think that technology is strengthening democratic institutions, and Europeans strongly support e-governments, with almost 60% of citizens wanting to switch public services online, even if this means closing physical offices.
The survey also shows that Europeans believe fake news and disinformation are one the most pressing issues of the digital age. More than half of Europeans (51.5%) want disinformation to be illegal and believe their country should sanction those who spread fake news on social media. Furthermore, most Europeans (42.3%) believe disinformation and fake news are the main problem associated with social media.
Europeans are moderately optimistic about the future of work, as most of them believe AI and automation will bring about more meaningful jobs. More than a third of Europeans – and a majority of those under 35 years old – believe an AI algorithm would be more productive at work than their boss.
Paradoxically, while a wide majority of Europeans (60.4%) do not believe their job will be automated within the next 10 years, a large proportion favours limiting automation by law in order to save jobs. This trend is stable, as it has been the case for the last three years.
The report also reveals rising adoption of cryptocurrencies, with more than a third of Europeans preferring to use digital currency rather than cash, and with over 42% of citizens under 25 supporting making Bitcoin legal tender.
As part of the research, the CGC surveyed 3,005 respondents from 10 European countries between in June-July 2022.