Abu Dhabi: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has approved the national digital wellbeing policy that aims to create a safe digital community and promote a positive identity through appropriate digital interactions.
The policy was launched in the presence of Lieutenant General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, and Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, and other ministers and senior officials.
The policy also aims to establish a framework for positive digital citizenship values and behaviour in the UAE. The 10- article policy covers the UAE’s legacy, digital reputation, respect for others, positive investment, good manners, digital privacy, publishing credibility, responsibility and systems, digital ethics and balanced usage.
Sheikh Mohammed highlighted the importance of improving the quality of the digital life of the community, by drafting appropriate policies, initiatives and projects that can keep pace with the latest local and international developments in the digital world, through motivating the digital community and consolidating the UAE’s leading position in the "World Digital Competitiveness Ranking”.
The UAE is ranked first among Arab countries and 12th globally in three key pillars: technology, readiness for the future, and knowledge.
"We adopted the National Digital Wellbeing Policy to maintain a healthy and positive digital environment for new generations who spend more time in virtual reality than in the real world. Our aim is to make their reality positive, productive and safe," he said.
The policy, which was drafted by the National Council for Quality of Digital Life, in partnership with relevant authorities, aims at improving the quality of digital life through four key pillars, including Digital Capacities: Building the capacities of members of the community and enabling them to use the internet in an aware and correct manner.
The pillars also include Digital Behaviour: Consolidating positive digital values and behaviours, Digital Content: Guiding the community to use positive content. The fourth pillar is Digital Communication: Protecting users from the risks of dealing with suspicious parties.
The policy comprises 11 initiatives linked to its four pillars to improve the quality of life of the community in the digital world by providing them with a safe digital environment, to protect users, raise their awareness and build their digital capacities and skills.
The adoption of the policy is supported by four initiatives: the "Digital Life Quality Knowledge Platform," the "Positive Digital Citizenship Values and Behaviours Code," the "Digital Life Quality Approach Initiative," and the "Sannif Initiative" for assessing e-games content.
The Positive Digital Citizenship Values and Behaviours Code is in line with the rapid global changes witnessed during the "Digital Governance, Artificial Intelligence and Smart Cities Era." In light of the culture of tolerance, coexistence, pluralism characterising the Emirati community, the code will help reinforce the country’s quality of digital life and create a safe and positive digital community.
The "Digital Wellbeing Knowledge Platform" (www.digital-wellbeing.ae), which is a comprehensive interactive web portal that includes awareness content, was also launched to build the digital capacities of community members, most notably parents, teachers, people of determination and senior citizens.
Sheikh Mohammed was briefed about the Digital Life Quality Approach Initiative by the Ministry of Education. The initiative aims to integrate digital citizenship issues into school curriculums from nursery to the 12th Grade in various subjects, such as ethical education, social studies, Islamic education, the Arabic language for non-natives, design, technology and computer sciences, and creative design and innovation.
The initiative also aims to draft and publish content for parents, to raise their awareness of digital safety, common mistakes, and how to protect themselves and their children.
The "Sannif" platform (www.sannif.ae), presented by the Telecommunications Regulation Authority (TRA) and the Digital Government, enables parents to learn about e-games and their nature and content before introducing them to their children.
The National Council for Quality of Digital Life was established under a Cabinet resolution and comprises the membership of ten government authorities. Chaired by Sheikh Saif, the council is responsible for developing and monitoring the implementation of policies and programmes aimed at ensuring the digital wellbeing of citizens, promoting good manners and behaviours in the digital world and positive interactions with others, raising the digital awareness of all segments of the community, and encouraging the appropriate use of technology.