Future-proofing our digital rights

Future-proofing our digital rights

The Digital Freedom Fund works with the digital rights field in Europe to map key digital rights issues which may arise in the coming years and to develop strategies to ensure digital rights are protected in the context of a rapidly changing landscape. In September 2018, DFF hosted a workshop in Berlin with a diverse set of collaborators from our network to identify potential future developments, the opportunities and threats they may present, and what action the digital rights field can already take in order to help our future selves.

Five experts from the field have contributed the following essays, which further explore some of the key aspects of technological and legal developments which may play a crucial role in shaping our digital rights future. Read a brief synopsis below and access the full essays or download them in PDF format.

Future-proofing our digital rights

The Digital Freedom Fund works with the digital rights field in Europe to map key digital rights issues which may arise in the coming years and to develop strategies to ensure digital rights are protected in the context of a rapidly changing landscape. In September 2018, DFF hosted a workshop in Berlin to explore these issues, and five experts from the field have contributed the following essays which further explore key issues in the future of digital rights.

Read a brief synopsis below and access the full version or download the essays in PDF format.

by Iris Lapinski

How will we respond to a future where our rights are determined by a machine? When algorithms decide the level of care an individual gets, the sentence imposed against an individual, or whether the authorities should take a child away from their parents? This essay looks at three aspects of how we can manage the change and challenges presented by the future scenario where Artificial Intelligence decides our rights.
by Ingrida Milkaite & Eva Lievens
Children are increasingly exposed to the “Internet of Things” through smart devices that are created specifically for them – the “Internet of Toys” – and this trend is set to continue into the future. This essay explores how the implementation and enforcement of current data protection laws can help us protect children against the future harms that may be caused by their data increasingly being exploited through their toys and other devices.
by Sheetal Kumar
It has been estimated that, by 2023, there will be 30 billion devices connected to the internet. These devices will be collecting, storing, and transmitting information about our daily lives and habits, and will introduce new points of vulnerability for attack or hacking by governments. This essay looks at steps that could be taken by digital rights defenders to reduce the future risks posed by government hacking of connected devices.

by Steve Song

The idea of a “splinternet” or “Balkanization” of the internet is not new, although the exact manner by which this is becoming a reality is evolving. However, there is another shift in internet infrastructure that is less talked of and even more fundamental to its functioning – the physical backbone of fibre optic cables crossing oceans and international borders. Increasingly investment and ultimately ownership and control of the cables used to transport information across the world is moving away from telecommunications operators.