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Human Rights in the Digital Age

Focusing on human rights in the digital age is key to a better world. On a very large scale data collection has been started. Every organization, states, political parties are keeping a record through data collection. As we are moving forward in our daily day to day life our all activities are being record used and misused. Just think that in today's world everyone is having a smartphone and has digital access to everything around the globe.

If a person wants to know something in today's time he just has to give a view and type it on and he will get the results of everything what he wants and even more than that. Many benefits have been already provided to us through the digital world. The digital age has given us enormous value to human rights and its development. As never before we can connect to anyone around the globe. We can investigate, inform and empower. To promote and defend human rights we can use satellite imaginary, encrypted communication and data streams.

The dark side of the digital world cannot be ignored. The digital revolution is a major risk to the human right issue. As we know that there are a number of benefits of digitalization around us but cannot ignore the risk which it carries. We cannot neglect the cyber world and cyberspace as an ungoverned platform. Rights are the same as offline or online. There should not be the feeling of overwhelm due to the pace and large scale development of digital age, but understanding the specific need of the risk that is with the digital age is very much important and one must be very curious about it.

As in expressing our rights through digital world sometimes it gets far beyond expression. Sometimes these expressions of our rights through the digital world leads to tension between two communities which may be a big issue after all that. The parts of the internet have been and now also been polluted every time every second, through online harassment process campaigns which are been leading in for trolling is on the very pace right now.

In today's world, this inappropriate use of cyber-crime is being used vastly against women. Like for example because of the social media incitement a rap up was instigating for mass killings and rapes of women of Rohingya community in Myanmar in the year 2017. Many researchers have found that the news which is been spread through the social platform like Facebook is leading to hatred among the community and the people around the globe.

The main issue is with the digital age is that our data can be access by anyone around the globe like through the most famous social connecting page known as Facebook, as many questions were raised to that then some of their security systems was improved as to protect our page our pictures through an option called privacy, many questions are been raised today related to the right to privacy but whether our privacy is really in safe hands today, the person operating our data can use it to any illegal work without our information, many a time this has happened and innocent ones have been dragged to such scenario.

Besides monitoring and categorizing digital platform our also being used to influence us. By seeing post which incites our mind we get influence through those. Like someone is Hindu and someone shows any information to influence that Hindu is being dominated then it incites bad side of us as it makes a bad influence on us. The digital process is now being used to shape our mind and to serve us a different thing in a different way.

Every part of the digital revolution shall be reviewed from the human rights perspective. We have to constantly look for and asses' protective gaps. This means not only passing new laws to keep up an eye on digital technologies but also changing the way we use institutions and processes. We need an organization that holds data-driven business and state in line. We secure freedoms efficiently only if we continuously change our system to find the correct balance of interventions.

There is no part of the digital revolution that cannot and should not be viewed from a human rights perspective. We need to constantly seek out and assess gaps in protection. This doesn't just mean passing new laws that keep pace with digital developments but also adapting the way we use institutions and processes. We need institutions that keep the power of data-driven companies and States in check. We can protect rights effectively only if we constantly fine-tune our processes to find the right mix of interventions.

In this digitally connected world, there are some serious challenges which everyone is facing. Internet use, mobile connectivity, low internet rates and submission of data on social networking site has helped in artificial intelligence. This has created a very big hurdle in handling human rights in the digital age. There is no secret that artificial intelligence can use our private data and can gather much information based on this. These data can be used in making some political movement for certain parties these data can easily create turmoil in politically disturbed society.

This information can be used to blackmail a certain person. Guardians of the human right have to look over this matter very gravely as it is the biggest issue which has aroused in this digital world.

There have been many treaties and conventions which are specifically there for human rights, for instance, Universal Declaration on Human Rights, Social Rights, Cultural Rights, the convention on the elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Convention on the Rights of Child and many more. These treaties and conventions have to be examined again so that they gave vigorous policy guidelines for the development of human rights in a better way in this digital age.

Digital technology has put us all on the treacherous platform. All the personal details can be used by Artificial Intelligence without us getting informed. Real national security and business intrigues should be adjusted against an essential right of privacy. International agencies like the United Nations should come forward and try to help state authorities by proposing some treaties so that the personal information of citizens cannot be misused by any private agencies or by different nations.

In the year of 2016 for the US presidential election, the Brexit was blamed for malicious use of digital technology. It is very much possible that countries and multinational corporations can deploy artificial intelligence to use to rob personal information and it can be used to destroy the economy. Economic situation can get worse due to this artificial intelligence. Data will be robbed and economic data will help to destroy the economic condition for rival countries.

People who develop and deploy artificial intelligence for political, business and war purposes should be made accountable. People are held liable in all the legal systems. So people who deploy artificial intelligence must be held responsible for the consequences of their action.

These violations become serious when this intelligence is used to deploy lethal weapons to strike against human rights and humanitarian laws. The UN secretary-general stated in 2018 that “machines with the power and discretion to take lives without human involvement are politically unacceptable, morally repugnant and should be prohibited by international law”.

We live in this digital world so UN, state agencies, citizens everybody should work together so that they can curb this artificial intelligence which is against human rights. So, that a good firewall can be created which will make it difficult for artificial intelligence to gather information and manipulate it.

International courts, national courts, tribunals, should re-interpret human rights so that this digital age can get fixed in it. In this breach of artificial intelligence women and children need more attention. This can create a very bad impact on the modesty of women and can affect the tender mind of children. Women experience a lot more harassment than men. Children use some applications and games without understanding their vulnerability. Strict laws should be made so that women and children could be protected from this digital misuse.

Every government, UN, private companies should ensure that artificial intelligence should be used only to strengthen humanity and some transparency should be created. Some standards should be made for artificial intelligence.

These should be followed very ethically. Some instances have made it very clear that artificial intelligence can be used to create some kinds of differences or discrimination so that the desired result can be obtained for some companies or countries or political party. For instance, artificial intelligence uses data that a particular party is only desirable to win an election in a particular political or economic situation. There are many efforts which are made to bring artificial intelligence in the boundary of law and ethical values.

For instance, the “Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)'s Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems, aims to make AI experts sensitive to ethical issues”.

In the digital world, human rights have to be given importance for the benefit of society as a whole. Privacy has to be given importance like the importance was given to other rights like freedom of speech and expression. This will enrich the society and this will create no fear among people that their thought process will be disclosed in the world or they will be a part of the criticism of the world.

Once freedom of speech and expression was given a lot of importance and so that is required the same for privacy so that human rights can be conserved. Nobody can mend somebody's mind for their own benefit.

This will create a lot of chaos. There must be different minds so that in every possible way development can be done. Even in the field of politics if we see, there should be different minds or people with a different perspective so that every voice can be raised. Critical thinking on every idea can be done. If everybody thinks in the same way, then this will also hamper a healthy democracy. So, artificial intelligence is being used to infiltrate the privacy of the individual and mend their minds in a particular way.
Today's world is digital, not analogue.

We no longer live in an analogue world where our human right is conserved by the laws of the nation. In this e-world, the borders have been dissolved on the internet mostly in democratic countries. All our daily activities have moved online. All our personal data has moved online. So, the government of all nation should come forward to protect this and make some e-government globally or e-parliament which will be responsible for the protection of data from artificial intelligence. They will protect the data from getting used by political parties or business companies.

The right to freedom of expression which we enjoy offline is not respected online. Many people get trolled or even abused because of loopholes.

Online human rights should not be diminished it should now be protected in a better way. Stricter laws should be made for the protection of human rights globally. This will help us to preserve human qualities like equality, freedom, dignity, respect, etc. This will help us in the survival of a healthy democracy without any partiality. So every citizen, government, private organisations and companies should come forward for protecting human values and democracy in digital platform and in this process it will help us to create a healthy digital age with strong human rights.

Book Sources:
  1. Mathias Klang and Andrew Murray: Human Rights in the Digital Age
  2. Michael O'Boyle: Human rights challenges in the digital age: Judicial perspectives

Internet Sources:
Written By:
  1. Marshan - KIIT School of Law and
  2. Ritwik Singh - KIIT School of Law

    Awarded certificate of Excellence
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