Digital Ethics – Michel Riguidel, Jacques Bus

DEF plans a debate on Digital Ethics in October of this year as a follow-up of the discussions at DEF 2015. This blog invites comments and critique and suggestions in preparation of that debate

The need to anticipate legislation and usages

Digital technologies have so modified human activity and digital usage evolves so quickly, it is essential to constantly update the rules of digital ethics and review deontology in many areas (trade, health, education …). Following the new opportunities and potentials, it is well possible to use or divert erroneously or act maliciously.

Digital Ethics touches on many hot issues, including respect for privacy and consequences of profiling, ethics of content, information collection and storing, right to be forgotten, cybercrime and terrorism, (mass) surveillance, freedom of expression, IoT and Big Data, robots and drones, digital artificial body implant or augmented reality in neurobiology, intellectual property, virtual currency, precaution, accountability, responsibility and intentionality, global and cultural differences of ethical norms. Continue reading

DEF 2015: The implications of the Code as Law

Ajit Jaokar was a speaker at the Digital Enlightenment forum 2015 (DEF2015). A blog of him focuses on a specific talk from DEF 2015: Legal questions in the digital world by TJ McIntyre – UCD and Digital rights Ireland. The event talks and presentations can be found HERE.

The discussion related to the loss of Utopian ideals on which the Internet has been founded – specifically in the legally murky world of ‘Code as law’ – which encapsulates legal enforcement in the form of Code. “Code as law” also creates a new (often reluctant) law enforcer in the form of ICT companies.  This issue is thus a key part of Internet Governance today. Ajit’s views on this talk can be found at the EIF News.

Are the Courts about to take the lead in advancing privacy law? The England and Wales Court of Appeal ruling on Google v. Vidal-Hall

One of the most important court rulings on privacy in a long time has just been handed down by the England and Wales Court of Appeal:  Google v. Vidal-Hall.

I have seen two articles about it that are very useful reads.  One is “The European Privacy Judicial Decision of a Decade: Google v. Vidal-Hall” by Omer Tene, on which I comment below, and another is by Alexander Hanff, “UK Court of Appeal issues game changing judgment in Google Safari case” in IT Security, 27 Mar 2015.

The ruling has worldwide ramifications for all the reasons outlined by Omer Tene.

In particular, the judgment confirms the position I took as Privacy Commissioner at the turn of the millennium and have held ever since on the wide interpretation of what constitutes personal information and on what constitutes harm. Continue reading

The post-digital social contract part 3 of 3

Restore balance and reclaim personal data

  1. The major actors – digital corporations and governments – need a haystack to find a needle.[i] They use a three step process to do this: (1) Create and adapt models with inference engine and rules; (2) Apply the model to data and match individuals to groups; (3) Take actions based on the matching, observe the results and tune the model.[ii] The more data, the better the model.
  2. The old school design approach to controlling this surveillance is to ask questions like: What are the rules? What are the consent points? Where are consents held? What are the defaults (opt-in or opt-out)? What are the obligations to the individual? How are those obligations met and monitored? How are obligations passed between actors? Can we regulate personal data markets? Should controls be centralized or distributed? What are the incentives? How do we resource enforcement?
  3. This old school design will not work.   Continue reading