In a perfect world, what would you like to be able to say is true about our digital rights five, ten years from now?
With this question, we kicked off a “Future-proofing our digital rights” workshop in Berlin. Together with digital rights experts, campaigners and activists, we imagined a positive future conversation about our digital rights and penned a multitude of statements.
Temporarily switching our focus from the digital rights battles being fought today to the future we want turned out to be an invigorating and inspiring experience; the energy fed into our own imagining of a “Universal Declaration of Digital Rights”. From a starting point of how rights are currently protected in our international human rights system, we looked at how these would be interpreted in the future and asked ourselves what would need to be established over the coming years.
The collated document from our collective imagination was a combination of both re-imagined existing rights, such as fair trial rights, focused on algorithmic decision-making, or a right to “understand the implications of technology” as a manifestation of the right to education, and the formulation of new potential rights, such as a right to modify and update devices, the right to interoperability of technologies, and the right to disconnect.