Fading memories is devoting a year of international events to the themes of privacy and data ownership in the digital age against the backdrop of developments in the countries of north-western Europe.
The social, political and economic future is determined globally by the evolution of digital technologies. This process is so far advanced that the boundaries between the analogue and digital spheres have become increasingly blurred, and the digital has become an integral part of our actual reality. The ‘Internet of things’ stands as a symbol of a global, digital network in all spheres of life.
At the same time these developments can be seen to have led to a conflict between technical advancement and the options for political, legal and social formations. Key legal norms such as copyright law are governed, like fundamental basic rights (Universal Declaration of Human Rights), by a constitution adhered to by states and societies. What do the human rights to freedom of thought and opinion mean in the face of existing technologies for the collection, analysis and monitoring of data by commercial organisations and government agencies? How free are individuals and societies in view of these developments? The individual loses control of the information on the internet which is forwarded to firms, analysed and commercialised, or can be monitored by state authorities. At present no agreed international standards or norms exist in regard to the regulation of digital procedures.
A forward looking interpretation and development of the fundamentals and regulation of how we live together in society poses a global challenge for the 21st century in terms of balancing the groundbreaking opportunities and challenges of digitalisation