// Patrick Louis

Internet: Medium For Communication, Medium For Narrative Control — Adapting: Legality, Transparency, Accountability, The Nations Intervene

I am the Black of the White and the Red of the White and the Yellow of the Red; I am the herald of the Truth and no liar

  • Internet: Medium For Communication, Medium For Narrative Control
  • Part 5 — Adapting
  • Section 2 — Legality, Transparency, Accountability, The Nations Intervene
Table Of Content
  • Laws and Governments as Moral Arbiters
  • Free Market Competition Is Not Enough, Privacy as a Human Right
  • Balance Between Sociality And Privacy
  • Consent, Ownership
  • Consent, Persuasive Tech
  • Consent, Right Of Non-Reception
  • Accountability, Securing Data
  • Accountability, Content + Gatekeeping
  • Transparency, Processing, Usage, Analytics, and Partnerships
  • Transparency, Disclosing Sponsors
  • Transparency, Bots
  • Example Laws
  • Drawback Of GDPR
  • Standardization Of Data
  • Privacy as a Utility, Government Monopoly on Identity
  • Social Media as a Utility
  • Digital Identity, Identity as a Public Infrastructure
  • Examples of Implementations

The market and corporate self-regulation have their limits. They cannot in themselves be sources of morals and ethics. This is the realm of laws, the legislations that governments make are the real arbiters of duties and rights.
The governments, as state entities, can impose the rules that should be followed to be able to act on their territories. However, laws are bound by geographical areas and as such cannot be international. They can only be inter-governmental if treaties and partnerships are in place. Companies can decide to comply to different regulations in different areas to be able to operate on these markets.

The best defensive tactic for nations is always legislations, instead of leaving it as a free-for-all medley. This is what we’ll dive into: when governments intervene on the internet.
The neoliberal mindset abhors this return to authorities because of the general lack of truth we’ve seen earlier. Yet, who do we trust more and want to grant more authority to: private for-profit entities on not-so-free markets or our governments and their legal systems?

In this section we’ll focus on rights and not regulations related to the private sector. Things related to transparency, accountability, consent, ownership, utility, and identity.
We’ve already seen market regulations for fair competition, conflicts of interests, collusions, antitrust, and others that are currently discussed or getting in place around the world.

Despite these new market regulations, many of the internet giants and their partners still stand tall and confident that their business model isn’t going to fall. Either because of nifty bypassing techniques, or because of lobbying. That’s why such regulations don’t coincide with what most of the netizens actually want.

For example, many recognize and want privacy to be a basic human right, part of human dignity. The “right to be let alone”.
Similarly, we’ve previously seen how researchers and human right activists are now thinking, when it comes to brain data privacy, of new rights such as: cognitive liberty, mental privacy, mental integrity, and psychological continuity.
On the surface, these will only be fancy words of wisdom and considerations if they aren’t written in laws, legally binding. Otherwise, companies could lie. Governments have to ensure the spirit of the laws are applied and not mere market regulations. It would be catastrophic if no such basic rights are in place and sensitive personal information such as brain data become common place on the internet.

The question today are related to who’s in charge of the privacy and what kind of balance we can have. Can our information be both a currency for some and protected as a right for others?

The actual implementation is a hard problem when it comes to privacy guidelines as there is a balance between sociality and privacy: sociality has always required the voluntary abandonment of privacy. In order to be social we must give up some of our private time and space to share it with others.
This takes new forms online where sociality is taken at the expense of privacy and social autonomy. Today, it rests mostly upon digital records and archives in the hands of private companies that track our social behavior. As we’ll see, it could be more attractive to have these records switch hands from the corporate world to the public sector.

The legal world is a tricky one, the laws need to be written so that they cannot be abused, covering as many aspects of an issue as possible to not leave room for ambiguity.

The first clarification that needs to be made is about defining what is meant by personal data and who is the actual owner of such data. We already gave our definition in the data and personal data section in part 1 of this series.

Personal data is any information that can be used to directly or indirectly identify a person, an attribute currently attached to them, a behavior, a preference or interest, personal history, anything.
These include things such as name, phone number, address, email, schoolbook, credit scores, geolocation, travel logs, interests, information about past purchases, health records, insurance records, online behavior, etc..
We call the person to which the personal data belongs a data subject.

Having this definition in a text law is the starting point.
Then, comes the issue of ownership of the data. As you might remember, we called the person which data was extracted from the data subjects. Hence, we need to specify what are the rights of ownership they have over their data, and in which cases they need to give consent to allow others to access it.

The consent itself needs to be delineated properly. We need to know what can be done with the data, for what purpose, for how long the retention can be, and most importantly, if consent is transferable. One company getting approval to access data could share this data with other entities, the transitive consent and transitive propagation of data.

Ownership also rhymes with control. Laws might want to spell out if a data subject should or should not be able to perform corrections, updates, or erasures of the data they have generated.

Yet, consent makes no sense if people can be coerced into giving it, if it isn’t informed consent. This is the case online with the use of persuasive technology, both to extract data and be subject to advertisements. They go hand in hand. Thus, the legal domain has to take this into consideration and posit whether such technology is allowed or not.
Additionally, it could make the parallel with gambling, alcohol, cigarettes, or other questionable products, basically limiting advertisements on mainstream channels.
Furthermore, when it comes to consent, the law has to deliberate if persuasive algorithms and designs should be allowed on children or not — age is often a factor when it comes to consent. Persuasive design and dark patterns could be made illegal altogether.

When it comes to advertisements, it has to be decided if consent needs to be given even before receiving them, or whether the person can at a later time refuse to receive them, retracting it.
The right of non-reception, is the right of someone not wanting to be the recipient of ads. If such right is in place, companies could be pursued in court and fined if they advertise to people who have opted-out of them, or to those who haven’t opted-in depending on how the law is phrased.
Such right is generally associated with online cookies, the right to not be traced online.
Offline, it is associated with not receiving ads in mailboxes, or at city-scale, to not have or limit billboards. This is also a method to avoid material waste.

Still, these can easily be bypassed with an ingenuous use of product placement and sponsoring instead of direct ads. Or even turning customers into brand evangelists, which is the norm with neoliberalism as we’ve seen earlier.

Once the personal data is stored, it could and is expected to be subject to access restriction and accountability. The companies and entities we have trusted with our data should be responsible for their safety so that nobody else retrieves them.
Thus, governments could create bodies and processes to verify the security, integrity, and confidentiality of the data storage in companies and entities that choose to host it. With the increase in quantity and types of consumer data, it is imperative to have such measures in place. We’ve heard too many data leaks stories in the news lately, either from hacking or rogue employees.
Arguably, even standards like the PCI-DSS, if applied to personal data, might not be enough without real-time checks.

Along with the responsibility of storing the data, laws could dive into the accountability related to the content of the data itself. Should platforms be accountable for the content it hosts, or should it be the data subjects themselves, or both?
This would in turn create new gatekeepers: a monitoring and reviewing of the content published and hosted. This could also include the algorithms that are used to promote content.

These algorithms have acted as amplifiers of extremism, enlarging dangerous fringe communities, and pushing biases (racial or others). Currently, the entities that are using them have been hiding behind the fact that these are algorithms, and thus “mathwashed” removing their responsibility because “they have no conscience of their own”. The myth of the impartial machine.

Many of the social network platforms, in the USA, have been avoiding monitoring the content posted on them by referring to the USA first amendment of free speech and the 1996 USA Communications Decency Act, shielding them from liability for content posted by their users.
However, this only applies to the USA and the different branches of the same platforms are able to monitor content in other countries.

To thwart this, governments need to either consider social media as news platforms, or find methods to strengthen the institutions that create and distribute reliable information: mainstream media, academia, nonpartisan government agencies, etc..
Once social media are part of the mainstream news system, the gatekeepers are back in place, they’ll have to uphold journalism standards for the content posted on them.
Governments can also enforce social networks to pay news that get published and distributed there, indirectly re-strengthening the local media publishers.

Apart from news, the platforms can be held liable for the undesirable content that is shared there.
This is most important when this content is shared in a public space that children can access. Laws can ensure children won’t be subject to neither surveillance, tracking, and be protected from predatory and dangerous content.
Contrary to popular belief, in the USA the COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) only takes the advertisement and tracking of children, but not whether the platforms are responsible for the content to which they are subject to. The Child Online Protection Act of 1998 (COPA, yes similar name) is the one that has the intent of preventing minors from accessing obscene material on commercial websites in the USA.
Most countries already protect their children against being subject to harmful material on public commercial channels.
India’s new intermediary liability and digital media regulations takes a step further and forces content to be traceable to its source, to be able to verify social media users, and rapidly take down non-consensual sexually explicit content and morphed/impersonated content within 24h of being notified.
With the same mindset, some countries have laws specifically to take down online hate speech and incitations of violence or terrorism.

If we can’t blame the hosts of the content, we might want to hold the people that generated it accountable. This, in turn, should make black propaganda ineffective. However, because most online-interactions are anonymous, it is very hard to do.
A solution to this would be to attach a real identity to whoever uses, posts, and creates online content, this is what the concept of digital identity is about.
Online platforms that allow bots could also be forced to tag them as such, making it clear to everyone that these aren’t real humans.
We’ll discuss this later, but as you can expect, while it does bring back gatekeepers, it also could create more social cooling.

Agreeing that the personal data should only be used for specific purposes is fine, but there needs to be some guarantee behind the agreement. For trust to set in, transparency is mandatory.

One type of transparency is about understanding why and how the recommendation engines, the curation systems of the internet, work. From advertisements, to news feeds and other algorithms. Having a clear picture of their inner-workings would help us make better decisions and responsibilities instead of overly relying and trusting them.

With the recommendation engines come the analytics, the categorizing, ranking, rating, and scoring of data: how data is processed internally. Transparency is about knowing where and how our data will be used, in what process.
It could be hard for companies to accept transparency at this level because that would mean opening their valuable extracted data storage to the world.

The transitive propagation of data needs also to be transparent if it happens. That includes disclosing who are the third parties that will access the data, for which reasons, what data points they used, the target audience, and who paid for the ads campaigns.
This type of financial accountability, full transparency regarding the amount spent by companies on ads, also applies to political campaigns sponsorship. Ad political campaigns, which on the internet were often overlooked, would now have their layer of anonymity removed. Yet again removing black propaganda and state-linked accounts from the equation and making microtargeting less obvious.

Many legislatures, regions, states, governments, authorities, and countries have erected or proposed laws to tackle the things we’ve seen, let’s mention some of them.

Related to the financial accountability, the Honest Ads Act, is a bill in the USA that was proposed such that online services would be required to reveal the description of the target audience of ads campaigns.
However, this bill wasn’t passed yet in favor of self-regulation. The USA, in general, is a laggard on the domain of privacy as it feels more threatened by the intervention of the state than the market.
Still, in 2018, the California Consumer Privacy Protection, a legislature passed in California (a USA state) would guarantee users in that region the right to know what data is being collected, and opting out of the sale of their data.
This opt-out approach isn’t the best but it’s a start.

Others might find that there needs to be a stronger data protection, that it’s part of human dignity and that it shouldn’t be threatened by any kind of intrusions. In that view, privacy and ownership over our private data is a default and not an opt-out.

The European Union was the first in 2016 to spear-head this change by rolling out the largest attempt at protecting user data with the General Data Protection Regulation.
Privacy laws are not new, for example France’s data protection law dates back to 1978, and the EU already had Data Protection Directive law about the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms in the processing of personal data, dating from 1995. However, the GDPR is an extension of all this with modernization, clarification, and making it actionable. It is a move that has spurred other states to enforce similar laws. It also gives them more confidence in intervening against the internet behemoths, which they wouldn’t dare attack before.

The French data protection law ensures the following rights:

Personal data must be collected and processed fairly and lawfully for specified, explicit, and legitimate purposes, and with the consent of the data subject. In addition to the right to consent, data subjects have been given the following rights: right to be informed, right to object, right of access, right to correct and delete information, and right to be forgotten.

These have been mapped unto GDPR to hold data processors accountable when manipulating data that isn’t mandatory for the functioning of the service. It defines clearly what is meant by personal data, what it means to process it, and what is required of organizations and entities that process it.
The organizations are expected to have a management procedure in place to keep the data safe and secure from breach. That means specific roles need to be in place, such as a Data Protection Officer, and the risk management assured. They are held accountable for the privacy and protection of the data, and data protection assessment can be performed to ensure this is properly applied.
The data subjects keep their rights over their data. They should be informed about the processing activities taking place, the data not being used for any non-legitimate purpose. Their explicit consent needs to be requested for its usage and collection. That means the data subjects have the right to update/correct and erase their data. Additionally, the data subject can ask to see which data is held about them and control whether its transfer can happen between third parties or not.

Most importantly, regulators can ask for demonstrations of accountability and impose fines for the entities that aren’t complying. This is the clause that makes the difference with any previous laws.

After it was passed, the internet has been shaken. Most websites have chosen to display annoying pop-ups/notification banners asking if users want to allow their information to be shared with third parties. It defaults to no but it is sometimes hard to manipulate and very intrusive.
Moreover, some companies are also allowing their users residing in the EU to download the personal data that has been gathered, and give them the possibility to delist it, essentially erasing it.

The way the GDPR has been applied by companies has given rise to more dark patterns, persuasive technologies trying to trick users into accepting to give their personal info.
Research has shown that only around 11.8% of consent forms in 2019 met the minimal requirements based on the European law.

Multiple countries have their own privacy laws and acts, and many today are modernizing and reforming them to add actionability like GDPR.
Some even include the right to data portability and the right to object to marketing, the right of non-reception which we mentioned earlier.

Let’s take some examples.
Canada has the Privacy Act from 1983, which it is modernizing to be similar to the GDPR in the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Data Act. China’s Personal Information Security Specification that took effect in 2018, and ratified in 2020 in the Personal Information Protection Law, has more strenuous and far-reaching requirements than GDPR applying to any personal data and not only sensitive personal data. The UK has its UK Data Protection Act from 1998, which has been updated in 2018 to follow and supplement the GDPR, and is being updated today to follow its own standards. The Irish Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) upholds the same fundamental privacy standards as the EU. Similarly, Australia has updated its 1988 Privacy Act and Australian Privacy Principles to be like the GDPR. Russia Federal Law on Personal Data of 2006 regulates data processors to protect the defined sensitive personal data against unlawful and accidental access. India’s PDP Bill of 2019 goes in the same direction as GDPR but is more integrated with Aadhaar portability which we’ll see in a bit. Argentina is going the same way, currently amending their laws to be like the GDPR. etc..

It’s apparent that most of the world is moving in the direction of edifying laws to protect the privacy of the citizen from the private corporate data brokers. Market regulations aren’t seen as enough.

Some nations take it a step further, considering the protection, privacy, standardization, digitalization, and usage of identity to be the role of the state and not corporations. The state should have a monopoly on identity, just like it should, in theory, have a monopoly on violence because it has the same destructive power.
As we said, sociality requires giving up a bit of privacy, and the digitalization of identity is a requirement for the information society. Some people are uncomfortable with the idea of making it the job of the state and would rather have centralized private entities do that. Yet we know that corporate incentives are only for-profit and not the shared good, which could hinder the transformation of the society into this new era.

Thus, some governments force the private sector to strictly follow their privacy rules, while the public sector uses identity as a utility, a part of public infrastructure for the public services.
This requires standardization, definition, transparency, and data portability of digital identity. We’ll come back to this in a bit but first let’s imagine social media as one of these services.

We already discussed social media as utilities in the social media section of part 1. We said back then that for it to be a utility, it should change from a want to a need, an essential infrastructure, a necessity like electricity.
Social media could be said to be an integral part of information society, in order to adequately take part in the 21st century as an individual, and thus would be important to have the government provide it to remove any profit incentives from it.

Some believe that current popular social media already act, feel, and are considered by people like utilities. So they push forward the idea of making them as such, just like the telecom sector or electricity sector: a public service that is regulated by the government.
It would make it easier to ensure the protection of the constitutional rights of users, such as freedom of speech in some countries. Additionally, the government could enforce search neutrality, modeled after net neutrality regulations — essentially assure equal access for everyone.

Yet, others argue that making social media similar to telecom regulations would be bad for the market, reduce innovation and growth because of the lack of competition. This is a market view of the subject.
Moreover, it can be said that social media haven’t gained the status of utility because countries don’t go haywire when they go down, that there is always an alternative, they are still new and replaced every couple of years.

Furthermore, from the neoliberal perspective, one that dreads authorities and prefers seeing things as a free flowing market, not catching nuances, this is the equivalent of the chilling rise of “authoritarianism” and “fascism”. Words that are used as emphasis to display the attack they feel towards their world view.
Still, there might indeed be a new kind of social cooling taking place when we become owners of our social media, instead of having them as private companies. State actors were already requesting personal data from these companies and using them for their gain, as we’ve seen before. Making them public utilities would instead force the general public to keep it in check, as it would be something they would be indirectly paying to keep running.

Another trend is the one of the digitalization of identity by governments. This is the standardization of identification and identity systems and management that become part of the public infrastructure.
In practice, this is more of a re-definition of national identity cards by making them digital, interoperable, and accessible by all citizens. Having it as an infrastructure means that all kinds of public and private services can rely on it to verify reliably the identity of people.

This comes with a lot of challenges for governments as they have to set in place the legal framework around the infrastructure, its usage, regulations, auditability, traceability, transparency, and obviously actually create a technology that is secure, confidential, keeps the integrity, is scalable, and respectful of all individuals.
The capability of the identity system needs to be well-defined, from authentication, authorization, roles, and delegations available. Some government bodies and international standards have been created for these identity management systems such as ISO, the EU eIDAS, European Self-Sovereign Identity Framework, European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI), and the GSMA Identity programme and Mobile Connect.

Like with social media as a utility, this comes with the same perception from those who’d rather be surveilled by private companies than their government. But with enough transparency and preparation, the most digitally-skeptic can get on board, especially if the solutions are free and open source as we’ll see in the next section.

So far, the implementations of digital identities by governments have only been applied when it comes to accessing public services and KYC processes when signing up for services such as telcos, energy, and banks.
Estonia, India, and China are countries that are leading the way. The upside is convenience and an economic boost. According to McKinsey Global Institute, countries that implement a digital ID scheme can boost their gross domestic product by 3 to 13 percent by 2030.

Estonia has been rolling its digital identity program for the past 20 years. Technically, it is a mandatory 11-digit unique identifier assigned to all citizens above the age of 15 that is stored along with a public-private key pair in a PKI (Public-Key Infrastructure).
The default format of this digital ID is a physical card, an i-card, similar to a credit card, passports, and sim cards: an embedded chip (UICC) protected by PIN codes. Internally these circuit cards use secure elements (SE) as a root of trust to store the sensitive information. We generally refer to this type of technology as hardware security modules (HSM). Other formats exist such as a mobile application that inspired China’s version of it, I am not currently aware if the Chinese solution additionally requires an UICC to be inserted in the phones.

The data is stored in a decentralized blockchain that is scalable and secure. Protected against cyber threats, which they’ve been subject to in the past, and are obviously continuously facing and tackling newer security challenges. Additionally, the data is also backed up in Estonia’s e-embassy in Luxembourg.

Practically, this allows someone to be verified during a KYC process (Know Your Customer), login to private or public services, to encrypt or decrypt files securely, and to legally digitally sign documents.
Note that e-signatures are allowed in the EU, through the eSignature Directive, to replace handwritten ones.

Users of such system are thus in the center, practicing self-sovereign identity (SSI), personal autonomy, in full control of who has access to their data. The system allows for traceability and auditability. Citizens can transparently see what data is collected about them, when, why, who has accessed to them, revoke or keep this information, and more. That is unless law enforcement requests access, but they’ll still be notified once the investigation wraps up.
This can be abused but the country has shown a strong legal stance whenever law enforcement or doctors took advantage of their positions. The traceability of each access also makes it harder for someone to touch the data without anyone else noticing — unlike traditional physical cabinet storages. This enables more privacy and empowerment that when a private company has control over personal data.

The advantages are obvious: designers of systems save time by relying on the government infrastructure, and citizens too by carrying their life activities online.
This includes banking, e-residency, accessing health records, medical prescriptions, voting, paying taxes, and more. One thing they are considering integrating is their own cryptocurrency.

Estonia also teaches cyber hygiene in elementary school. Education is an important factor that we’ll dive into next.

The EU is considering implementing a similar system, but leaving each national authority the choice. However, it is still being discussed and argued if it should be mandated across all nations. They have agreed on eSignature Directive, allowing electronic signatures to be the equivalent of handwritten ones, and took a few steps with encouraging national digital IDs in 2018 through the Electronic Identification And Trust Services (eIDAS) regulation. The implementation of digital ID in Europe would allow cross-border electronic transactions and electronic signatures, but only 14 out of 27 member countries have introduced online authentication systems, such as DigiD in the Netherlands, Belgium’s eID card, and Spain’s DNIe.

Another large implementation of digital identity is India’s Aadhaar. Technically, it is a non-compulsory 12-digit unique identifier, termed Aadhaar, that also comes with a public-private key infrastructure that stores biometric information.

Due to the non-mandatory nature, the government has to ensure that no service can be denied if the person hasn’t signed up for Aadhaar. However, in practice, many services are now using it for KYC as a replacement for paper proof of identification.
Moreover, because it isn’t mandatory, Aadhaar isn’t a proof of citizenship or residence: it doesn’t replace other IDs like passports or driver’s licenses.

Aadhar practical form is as a biometric ID system, allowing citizens to prove their identity by simply providing a fingerprint or iris scan for example. There is also an ID card that can be issued.
On top of Aadhar, the government has rolled out a Unified Payment Interface (UPI) allowing banks to interoperate with Aadhaar. UPI is designed to make person-to-person (p2p) and e-commerce transactions swifter and easier.

For India, this has been a game changer, enabling access to bank accounts and services that most couldn’t access before, making them more inclusive. Figures are not robust, but it can be assured that most (4 out of 5) Indian citizens have the ID card.
This saves a lot of overhead, someone can transfer money simply by showing their Aadhaar card, or paying with their fingerprint.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of criticism, calling it a “tech-solutionism” and saying the roll-out has been discriminatory.
Besides, there have been emerging reports regarding the security concerns of the personal data associated with Aadhaar ID being sold in alternate markets.

These flaws in privacy and security need to be addressed with accountability, traceability, and a strong legal framework, similar to what Estonia is doing. So far, Aadhaar doesn’t yet seem to put the person in control of their own information, self-sovereign identity. Plus, the document could be upgraded to be considered a true proof of citizenship.
Additionally, only basic biometrics is not enough, but adding a smart card with a pin to the mix was the way to go. It fulfills: something you know, something you have, something you are.
The development possibilities are there and the outcomes would be interesting.

China has slowly been pushing for its virtual/electronic ID card, a digital ID. Practically, it is a valid national ID that contains biometric information such as face and fingerprints.
The solution takes a mobile-first approach, as an app with QR codes, and would integrate well with all services, both online and offline. It is still in its pilot/trial phase, but would be a true replacement for official ID cards and could be used within popular applications such as WeChat and Alipay. For example, WeChat Payment is already extremely popular for making digital payments.

China’s implementation would be directly inspired by Estonia’s one, very similar. At China’s scale, like India, it would open a lot of future possibilities as 67 percent of Chinese residents do not currently have a credit record. The system would also be linked to a generic credit score database.

China is also eyeing entering the digitalization of the supply chain. Their Standardization Administration describes it neatly: “First-class companies do standards. Second-tier companies do technology. Third-tier companies do products.”

This means being able to associate identity and traceability of all the supply chain and trade processes across multiple geographies and organizations. A true verifiable life-cycle where you could identify compliance and transparency.
For that, they’ve partnered with international standard organizations such as ISO and ITU, and started designing and implementing the next wave of standardization in cyber-physical trade with its ambitious China 2035 Standards strategy. This initiative is also driven by other organizations such as UN/CEFACT, the ICC, World Customs Organization, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), and International Air Transport Association (IATA).

This type of digital meta-platform, this platform-of-plaforms, would empower individual actors by giving them the power of traceability and identity for supply chain & trade. This applies to both people within it and outside it.
For the consumer, that would mean being able to reliably see the origin of a product, including its materials, legal, geographical, intellectual-property, its origins, and more. This is essential for many of us, and would make it easy to see the quality of intangible goods.

Consumers, governments, and companies are demanding details about the systems, enterprises, and sources that delivered and transformed the goods along their value chain. They worry most about quality, safety, ethics, and environmental impact, to name just a few.

This would ensure the transparency when buying products from big platforms that contain sub-markets such as Alibaba, Amazon, and Wal-Mart. This adds a lot of trust and transparency with consumers, they can verify the digital twin of their physical good, along with its history.
Now, that is going digital!

A path towards societal digitalization through internet technologies.

Other countries such as Argentina, Afghanistan, Denmark, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, and more have or are introducing national ID cards with embedded chips used for services and are considering or in the progress of integrating with biometrics, payment, and the online world just like Estonia, India, and China are doing.
This seems like a global trend and is expected to increase with new types of root of trust that can be shared over the wire such as IoT SAFE.

This concludes our review of how governments can bring back order, morals, and ethics on the internet. In a first place, we’ve dabbled with how the market isn’t enough and how there’s a need for laws that would consider privacy as a human rights. Then we’ve seen the balance between sociality and privacy, to whom we’d prefer giving it. Next we went over three topics applied to legality: consent, accountability, and transparency. After that we’ve looked at some examples, how the world is moving in that direction. Finally, we’ve tackled identity and social media as utilities and infrastructures, and what that would imply, along with some of today’s examples.

Table Of Content


Attributions: Michael Maier, Atalanta fugiens, Oppenheim, 1618

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