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Danny Mekić guest columnist for de Volkskrant

De Volkskrant has a guest columnist every month who writes a column for the website on Sundays. eLaw PhD student Danny Mekić was asked by de Volkskrant to be guest columnist for the month of January.

In his first column, Mekić drew attention to the increasing use of self-scanning checkouts in supermarkets. These checkouts have long been known to lead to an increase in shoplifting. Recent statistics indeed show an increase in shoplifting in Dutch supermarkets. In response to this increase, supermarkets are exploring the possibilities of using ‘AI surveillance’ to deter theft. In his column, Mekić points out that in addition to AI surveillance, the reintroduction of manned checkouts can also reduce shoplifting, but supermarkets are opting for self-scanning checkouts that lead to more theft because the savings in staff costs outweigh the damage of thefts. Shoplifting has thus become a profitable part of supermarkets’ business model.

Danny Mekić

In his second column, he drew attention to the importance of basic basic skills such as reading, writing and arithmetic, which are sometimes in danger of being sidelined in the social debate, are important prerequisites for developing digital skills and that digital skills cannot replace these basic skills. According to him, more attention is needed to these basic skills in schools so that children can learn better digital skills, but also to prevent low literacy that, on average, leads to unhealthier and shorter lives and reduced financial prospects.

In his third column, he drew attention to the declining trust in society between people and between people and institutions. He points out that the deployment of digital technologies in society can fuel distrust. Distrust causes poorer relationships and cooperation, anti-social behaviour and conflicts between people and groups. Therefore, he calls for thinking about the wider effects of deployment of digital tools, which not only have an instrumental effect, but also affect the social development of society.

Mekić’s last colomn about databases with personal data is online since yesterday. 

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