There have been many inevitable transformations in society due to digitization – the introduction of digital technology, including communication technology, through the Internet and its use via the Web.
This book is the first Yearbook of the Digital Enlightenment Forum. Whilst it cannot cover all the many aspects which the forum encompasses, the book gives an impression of the broad spectrum of the forum and a clear picture of the multi-disciplinary nature of the issues at stake.
The first paper in the book is a contribution from the father of the Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, and Harry Halpin. They pose the question of whether the opportunity to participate in the empowered connected society should be protected, and conclude that urgent action is needed to promote and defend the Internet and the Web.
Other papers explore topics such as legal issues and the rights of the citizen, privacy protection and international cooperation in the fight against cyber crime. The book ends with a number of scientific and technical papers as well as descriptions of practical problems and their possible solutions.
Although the book addresses only the tip of a very large iceberg of problems, issues and possible technologies, it provides an excellent picture of the many challenges which must be faced in the years to come, and will be of interest to all those working towards the development of society in the spirit of enlightenment.
By the end of the 17th century, members of an emerging “European international republic of letters” were becoming increasingly aware that, collectively, they were a force in the world.
Birmingham's Lunar Society brought together merchants and intellectuals discussing openly in coffee houses in much the same way as the barbershop loiterers did during the golden age of Greece.
In French salons, large numbers of scientists and literati came out of their isolation and involved themselves in world's affairs, with Diderot's emblematic great Encyclopedia serving as the principal expression of their belief that the cumulative knowledge of humanity could be carried forward indefinitely as a significant social function.
The enlightenment gave birth to a self conscious sense of power and responsibility among people in Europe – together with a few important links to Ben Franklin's United States – and this proved to be one of the major revolutionary events of the modern era. It can be argued (indeed has been argued eloquently by O'Hara
Kieron O'Hara, The Enlightenment, p. 207, Oneworld Publications, 2010.
) that the World Wide Web, emblematic of our Digital era, embodies the basic Enlightenment ideals of Diderot's original emblem.
As there is rarely a proverbial silver lining without an associated cloud the emerging era of milk, honey and Digital cornucopia is accompanied by concerns that governance of the Digital era – or lack of it – could sweep away rights and values that the classical enlightenment painstakingly helped to articulate and/or reinstate.
It was with a view to facing these concerns and shedding some light on what might lie beneath, as well as trying to anticipate major turning points in the evolving context, that the RISEPTIS (Research & Innovation on Security, Privacy and Trustworthiness in the Information Society) initiative was undertaken in early 2008.The RISEPTIS Board brought together interlocutors from industry, academia and policy development and – without the benefit of the romantic environment enjoyed by the Lunars – managed to produce and publish its “Trust in the Information Society” report in late 2009.
This report was officially presented in February 2010 at the dedicated Leon conference which was jointly organized by the European Commission and the Spanish presidency of the EU and contributed to the Digital Agenda for Europe.
The overall response to the report was such that it motivated and encouraged some of the members of the RISEPTIS Board, with the intellectual support of kindred spirits, generously provided over a series of dinner discussions, to establish the Digital Enlightenment Forum. This in turn led, entre autres, to the putting together of this Yearbook .
It should be said that, from the start of these efforts and continuing to this day, a number of well intentioned and thoughtful interlocutors have been wondering whether many of these concerns for new kinds of rights might not constitute tilting at windmills, with a corresponding dose of hyperbole.
It is our firm belief that our concerns are a bit more than Quichotic bravado. As it has been said “Thomas Jefferson had to declare certain rights to be self evident precisely because the King of Britain did not believe these rights were self evident” (at all). For “King of Britain”, the reader can substitute “many governments and major purveyors of digital goods”, and they will then have a simple articulation of the reasoning that motivates our belief that the Digital Enlightenment Forum can provide a timely contribution to the – in our view urgent – quest for a new type of governance for the Digital era.
This new type of governance needs to explicitly factor-in technological dynamics without surrendering human autonomy and rights to the falsehood of technological unavoidability. Indeed, it could well be that new types of rights need to be articulated to address the emerging new reality. Moreover it will, as it must, strive for a reasonably fair deal: between policy documentation prepared by armies of lawyers on behalf of digital providers and the hopelessly uninformed binary decision that most hapless users are forced into today.
This new governance can only evolve dynamically through reasoned and tolerant discussion among a broad spectrum of actors on the Digital scene. This is the only way to navigate sensibly through the troubled digital waters, where relatively simple quandaries of times past – the simplistic security vs. privacy juxtaposition originated in the early 90's – are overtaken by far more complex and subtle ones – autonomy and privacy vs. the free flow of information and open data. The legacy of the Enlightenment bequeaths to us valuable insights which can help guide us on the road that lies ahead, while pointing out to us the traps that the artificial and avoidable separation of science and humanistic values might have produced in the past.
We trust that the papers selected for this Yearbook volume will enable the reader to discern the key issues arising therein, and glimpse the “fil conducteur” that relates them to one another.
As the power of the Internet and Web increases, the motivation of some governmental and corporate actors to control and limit the Internet and Web becomes stronger. We must ask whether the ability to participate in this empowered, connected society should be considered worthy of protection, and how we can conceptualize this protection. As access to the Internet provides new capabilities that become constitutive of human thought and social life, we conclude that urgent action is needed in promotion and defense of the Internet and the Web.
The paper gives a picture of the Information and Communication revolution that takes place globally. It describes the effects of the massive data collection and processing on the social and economic reality and the inter-relation between governments, private companies and citizens. It is concluded that very strong protections are needed for privacy and personal data, including severe sanctions and data protection authorities with strong enforcement powers. But that this is not enough. Effective protection and empowerment of people will need to include rules on transparency and accountability of data processing, and revisiting of consumer protection and competition policies.
The notification of individuals of surveillance measures is a crucial issue currently discussed in several EU Member States as well as at EU level. Provisions so far enacted in this area reflect a certain ambiguity in the regulation of this matter. The right to be informed of the fact that online malware installation have been set up on the computer, that the telephone has been tapped or that a person has been subject to secret visual and/or video surveillance measures are not harmonised in the EU. The article refers to the ongoing discussions and analyses in particular the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights in this area. Questions such as the acceptance of a right of notification after surveillance is terminated and the possible recognition of this right are being tackled.
Potential consumers are increasingly profiled to detect their habits and preferences in order to provide for targeted services. Both industry and the European Commission are investing huge sums of money into what they call Ambient Intelligence and the creation of an ‘Internet of Things’. Such intelligent networked environments will depend on real time monitoring and profiling, resulting in real time adaptations of the environment. In this contribution Mireille Hildebrandt will assess the threats and opportunities of such autonomic profiling in terms of its impact on individual autonomy and refined discrimination and indicate the extent to which traditional data protection is ineffective as regards profiling. She will then highlight the potential of the draft General Data Protection Regulation to provide a more adequate and effective level playing field for both the industry and individual citizens in the profiling era. The most revolutionary change she detects is not the right to be forgotten or the right to data portability but the right to be informed about the potential consequences of being profiled.
The digital divide can be understood as inequalities in four successive types of access: motivation, physical access, digital skills and different usage. It is claimed that the divide has shifted from the first to the last-called types of access in the last ten years. The current, mainly European situation of all four access types is amply described. This is done against the explanatory background of resources and appropriation theory, a materialist and relational theory that emphasizes positions and relations instead of individual attributes. The effects of unequal access on unequal participation in society are summarized.
The Digital Identity Management System in Japan's Basic Resident Registration Network System aims to improve residents' convenience and reform the administrative structure. At the same time it has spurred heated discussion on the issue of privacy and personal data protection, leading to the enactment of the Personal Information Protection Act 2003.
The internet has brought about profound changes in our society. As well bringing enormous advantages to everyday users, criminals use the nternet on a grand scale against a multiplicity of targets, compromising global security. In order to face those threats, and preserve our fundamental right to communicate, a coordinated and international response is necessary. This should be done while preserving users' freedom and privacy.
The present article introduces the digital realm as a dynamic, Darwinian ecosystem, and develops an account of information technology (IT), its evolution, and a road-map for its potential future development. The article then examines the constraints and the evolutionary pressures acting upon IT through an analysis of the subconscious representations that model the domain in the current discipline of IT. The investigation examines the principles of its conceptual models along with the conditions that permit these models to arise and flourish. The article concludes by proposing a number of novel representational concepts for communications that show future promise as well as an exploration of possible new models of the Future Internet.
The concepts of trust and security are deeply embedded in our society and are therefore strongly affected by the societal transformation caused by the digitisation. Societal and technical change is strongly influenced by the growing complexity of society related to the emergence of easy worldwide communication, the Web and mass data collection. In this paper I discuss security and trust as fundamental drivers for self-organisation in our society. I highlight the concepts of trustworthy technology and trust in the societal context, as well as the difference between accepting technology and trusting technology. An important observation is that a complex system cannot be fully understood by reductionism alone. The discussion leads to some cautious conclusions on future actions.
A conceptual analysis of trust in terms of trustworthiness is set out, where trustworthiness is the property of an agent that she does what she claims she will do, and trust is an attitude taken by an agent to another, that the former believes that the latter is trustworthy. This analysis is then used to explore issues in the deployment of trustworthy digital systems online. The ideas of a series of philosophers from the Enlightenment – Hobbes, Burke, Rousseau, Hume, Smith and Kant – are examined in the light of this exploration to suggest how we might proceed in the Digital Enlightenment to ensure that systems are both trustworthy and trusted.
Privacy decisions often involve balancing competing interests. As such, they are a natural field of study for economics. But traditional economic models have made overly restrictive assumptions about the stability and nature of individual privacy preferences. Approaches drawing on existing research in behavioral economics and psychology may offer complementary tools for understanding privacy decision making.
: This article seeks a deeper understanding of privacy in the digital age through an examination of a phenomenon the authors call “information emanation”. Focusing on Canadian jurisprudence involving heat and odour emanations, the authors examine the current approaches of Canadian courts in decisions about the ‘reasonable expectation of privacy’. The authors focus on three judicial trends that pose serious risks to privacy: 1) the tendency to equate different kinds of emanations and conclude that information emanations into public spaces never attract a reasonable expectation of privacy; 2) a reductionist approach to information privacy, which obscures the deep social significance of police investigative techniques; and 3) the adoption of a non-normative approach to ‘reasonable expectations’ ushering in a shift in privacy discourse away from democracy, rights and duties towards an inquiry about digital technology and standards of police practice. The authors conclude that while the Supreme Court of Canada attempted to guard against many of these risks, recent jurisprudence indicates an ongoing threat of backslide to the reductionist approach to informational privacy, especially in future cases involving emerging digital technologies.
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