Is it Time to Declare and Protect Global Digital Human Rights?

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Digitalization and innovation in various sectors of the world now call for a revisit and declaration of global digital human rights. The urgency has developed because with digitalization becoming a “norm” in society, global digital human rights are vulnerable to high levels of violation.

Technological advancement barely takes its impact on human capabilities into account, and so, it is our responsibility to filter digital human rights from digitalization and the fourth industrial revolution (4IR). While the fourth industrial revolution aims to correct mistakes or advance the past industrial revolutions, it is only right to legally consolidate the updated global digital human rights to compliment digitalization.

The global digital human rights give individuals access to using computers, the Internet, or other electronic devices and telecommunication networks while allowing them to create and publish digital content across these networks. Following the world happenings and how fast the Internet is becoming a solace place, a new social contract stating everyone’s digital rights needs to be put in place to form the basis of a new human-centered approach to incoming global governance.

Identifying Global Digital Human Rights

  1. Every individual have the right to exercise political, cultural, personal, social and economic rights based on new technological platforms without any hindrance (Digital shell for the realization of human rights)
  2. The right to access information and planetary processes provided on the Internet
  3. The right to access cultural property and education online
  4. The right to protect personal data and individual privacy (health data, biodata, etc.)
  5. The right to receiving social services based on digital technology platforms
  6. The right access to the global Internet, means of digital individualization and storage of digital assets, as well as other digital technologies
  7. The rights to participate in property turnover (transactions, digital transactions, etc.)
  8. The priority of human conservation and development in the context of the creation of artificial intelligence

Everyone who has embraced digitalization should understand these rights and work with them to their benefits while not violating them. With these rights updated, and the society enlightened, there will be a harmonized input from all responsible institutions, organizations, and individuals to ensure we all stay on the right track.

On studying the past 20 years of human rights history, it’s evident that there has been an expansion in the scope. Till this moment, the government has been faced with various difficulties on different levels to apply laws to the Internet. One of the reasons being that the Internet advances real quickly, introducing new opportunities and business models. Keeping up with these dynamics and updating laws to cover each one is almost impossible for these lawmakers.

The digital human right is the best opportunity lawmakers have right now to prevent technology misuse, helping society focus on its benefits. In the end, the choice of how we want technology to impact our lives is ours to make, and if made right, we might just be pleased with the results we get.


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