Debating Ethics: Respect and Dignity in Data Driven Life

At the public session of this year’s conference, we will be Debating Ethics: Dignity and Respect in Data Driven Life to explore broadly how data and those controlling that data are influencing our values.

Why Digital Ethics?

Data protection and privacy regulators and authorities are first-hand witnesses of the digital revolution which has taken place at great speed and changed our lives and the world as we know it.

The internet has evolved to what it is today in spite of existing data protection and privacy rules.

In the EU, we are proud that we have a new gold standard for data protection, the General Data Protection Regulation; but we also have big data, artificial intelligence, robotics to name but a few.

Globally, all regions of the world and all areas of our societies are impacted by digitisation from leisure to learning, from healthcare to governance, from finance to farming.

As data protection authorities and the co-hosts of this year’s conference we believe that it is useful to explore beyond compliance mechanisms, understand how the digital age is changing society and people’s daily lives and see how ethics can help challenge the inequalities and unfairness which increasingly characterise our digitised societies and economies.

Beyond compliance does not mean beyond the law or as an alternative to the law. The law must of course be complied with. But as we are seeing, compliance alone cannot preserve our rights and values, for instance:

  • democracy and biased political campaigns and referendums;
  • our autonomy of choice and the attention economy, the advertising economy; or
  • our capacity to develop our own personality, mass surveillance and self-censorship.

In light of the global nature of this phenomenon, we invite you to join us to reflect on our values in the digital era.

Our aim is not to offer solutions but to welcome as many disciplines and sections of society, from across the globe in an interactive debate on how we should maintain respect and dignity in this technology driven world.