Losing our technological footing

Stephen Beard Mar 29, 2007


LISA NAPOLI: We already knew customer data had been pilfered from the computers of TJ Maxx. Today thanks to regulatory filings by the company, we know how many: at least 45 million credit card numbers over an 18 month period. That news comes as the World Economic Forum declares America’s gone bust as a leading tech economy. Stephen Beard on how we’ve dropped from ranking No. 1 — to No. 7:

STEPHEN BEARD: The Forum has ranked 122 countries according to things like government investment in technology, Internet bandwidth capacity and the regulatory environment in which high tech businesses have to operate.

The top country was Denmark, followed by Sweden, Singapore, Finland and Switzerland.

Having occupied the pinnacle in previous years, the U.S. has now fallen humiliatingly into seventh place.

The co-author of the report Soumitra Dutta says part of this is due to the low take-up of some key technologies in the States:

SOUMITRA DUTTA: One example, is the take-up of cell phone. The U.S. is 48th in the world and the U.S. only has about 67 cell phones per 100 inhabitants. That’s incredibly low.

He says the U.S. has always done well spawning high-tech innovations, but the advances are not being used throughout American society as widely or as rapidly as in other countries.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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