What are digital rights?

Although many advocacy and service provider organizations focus on fighting for and preserving human rights, there is an increasing need for consideration of people’s associated digital rights. Digital rights are closely tied to the data that we create/provide when accessing internet and digital technologies. Unfortunately, the level of oversight and legal frameworks that we associate with protecting human rights in the “real world” are far behind in helping to protect our digital rights, i.e. human rights in the digital world.

Fortunately, a number of municipal governments have stepped up to create the “Cities for Digital Rights Coalition” to try and protect digital rights on a global level. Their efforts were recently presented at the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona, alongside their declaration of 5 key principles for protecting and upholding human rights in the digital world. Presently, the list of cities is predominantly American and European, with no Canadian representation. However, the coalition is campaigning to convince more cities to join them in the fight for digital rights. Read more about the initiative here.

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