With increasing internet penetration in Myanmar there is a need to guide the wave of new users on safe and ethical use of the internet, Petter Furberg, chief executive officer of Telenor Myanmar, said.
He was speaking at the Norwegian firm’s monthly industry event, Net Monday, in Pathein, Ayeyarwaddy region.
Telenor partnered with Myanmar ICT for Development Organisation (MIDO) and Info Myanmar Computer Services (IMCS) to host the 16th edition of the event, which was attended by about 500 students and lecturers, and covered a range of topics surrounding the growing use of the internet in Myanmar.
“In a borderless internet world that ‘never forgets’ and is open to all elements of society, both positive and not-so-positive, there is a need to guide this journey, especially among the younger generation of users. Our collective ambition should be to create a new generation of digital citizens who are not only extremely savvy about using the internet, but also smart and safe in the way we use it. In short digital citizens that are more resilient to risks, and more responsible in usage of the internet,” Furberg said.
“We believe internet is one of the most powerful tools for economic and social progress in emerging markets like Myanmar. Smartphones are driving internet adoption today, and many in Myanmar are getting their first experience of the internet on the small screen. Today, we estimate that 65 percent of all mobile users today are already on a smartphone – an extremely rapid rate of adoption, in a society that is stepping into the world of the internet that has developed ahead of us.”
Telenor claims that it has 6.4 million customers in Myanmar today, estimates that 65 percent of those are already data users, and about 60 percent have access to or use a smart device.
At the event, participants heard from Telenor, MIDO and IMCS on issues and risks surrounding the use of the internet, including the increasing incidences of cybercrime and cyberbullying.
The panel discussion also highlighted the responsibility of internet users to nurture a cyber-world that is safe for children.
“There is a need for parents or guardians play an active part in guiding children through the use of the internet, setting the right conditions where their journey is always safe, positive, guided, and secure from negative elements,” Furberg said.