08/2015 - User Data Manifesto 2.0: Fundamental Rights for Users of Online Services
The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) published a ‘User Data Manifesto’ in cooperation with partners allowing every user in the digital age to control his data on the Internet. The aim is to extend the principles of open source software to the entire digital data world. Based on three basic components – control, knowledge and freedom – anyone should be able to control who is accessing his data on the Internet and under which conditions. Additionally, a ‘Right to Information’ is meant to foster transparency regarding where and on which legal basis the data is stored for how long. Finally, every user of the Internet should have the freedom to select platforms independently and to be able to export data or transfer them to another provider anytime. In order to ensure that the core conditions of open source software – using programs based on source codes, understanding, distributing and improving them – are not only safeguarded on private computers, any program processing personal data on servers must also respect and guarantee these freedoms. Due to the expansion of online services (e.g. to share photos, to edit documents jointly, social networks and online shopping portals) it becomes increasingly difficult to keep control of one’s data, regardless whether the underlying software is free or proprietary. Therefore, it is important that the Manifesto finds more supporters and that many online services participate in it. For this purpose it is essential that the data can be exported in formats via open protocols (Open Standards). The ‘User Data Manifesto’ is a basic element for a free society in the digital age and a good start to recognise and respect the fundamental rights of everyone [sources: heise.de; netzpolitik.org; userdatamanifesto.org].
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