Latin America’s Coming Techlash

Published in Project Syndicate

By Robert Muggah

Latin America is going digital, with all the upsides and downsides that this transformation entails. While foreign and domestic investment in digital infrastructure, cloud computing, and e-services are spurring openness, innovation, and economic development, they are also reinforcing digital divides, distorting politics, and exposing governments, businesses, and citizens to cyber threats.

Across the region, broadband and information and communications technology (ICT) is concentrated in wealthy cities and households, and excessive regulation is stifling competition in telecommunications. Cybercrime is off the charts, yet still a neglected threat. And now, a geopolitical battle between the United States and China over the future of 5G puts Latin America squarely in the cross hairs. How the region’s leaders confront these challenges in the coming years will have generational implications.

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