The Internet and the Law – Privacy Engineering and Morality Engineering
Privacy Engineering has become a new subject. Recent implementation of the GDPR law by Europe and similar laws following up elsewhere are affecting the internet. The internet is a beast which is difficult to control. There are forums and platforms on it where collaboration is fast and speedy which is difficult to dictate and control. A persons otherwise private information is stored on servers in distant places.
Recent concerns include that of children and their online exposure. Children and youth become members at various platforms on the internet and their online activity is stored on the servers of the service they use. This means that their messages, writings, exchanges, search queries and any and all activity is present in some form on the internet. Whichever service they use will have networks spanning the globe and this data might well be present in a different country. This means that the childrens and youths data of one country is present and stored (and possibly analyzed) in another country. This will be objectionable to the elders of that country who might want to retain the data of their citizens within their country. To this end it appears that Data Centers might need to be established in various countries which enact laws to keep their citizens data in-country.
One more concern is that large corporations of another country might have the data of your citizens. This means that they will have to comply to the laws of the country they belong to. This therefore means that any legal request for Data will have to be complied with and so your countries citizens data could well be legally shared to another country’s state agencies. Its a mixed bag of items. You have access to a free online service which shows you ads and provides free connectivity and free collaboration services but as a result it has your data.
One thought process is ‘Who Cares’. As long as you are a normal peace loving citizen of any country who goes online to express ordinary acceptable views according to acceptable standards then who cares if your Data is here, there or elsewhere? Another thought process is ‘I do care’ and don’t want my Data to be present anywhere at all and don’t want my data to be accessible by any entity of any state.
The fundamental question arises whether one considers the state as a friend or as a foe and whether one trusts the state or doesn’t trust the state. The fundamental question arises whether one consider their own state or the foreign state with their data trust-able or not. These are all valid questions and one persons view will be different from another persons view on this subject.
Do you want to be blackmailed or maligned at any point in your life based on any of your past internet activity ?
Do you want your state to be able to blackmail or malign you based on your internet activity?
Do you want another country to be able to blackmail or malign you based on your internet activity?
Is your online data from your past online activity such that if it goes public it could create problems for you ? Or is it such that you are afraid that if it goes in any enemies hands they could blackmail you ?
Do you want your children to be unknowingly doing stuff online at a young age for which they could be maligned or blackmailed at a later date ?
These are also valid questions and one persons view on this may vary from another persons view.
From these questions arises the field of Privacy Engineering where the technical, societal and legal aspects of privacy are raised. These are indeed difficult but valid questions. If a person with ill intent gains access to your online data this could definitely affect your life.
The internet is a battleground for control and a battleground for civilizations competing as well. One persons acceptable content is another persons evil and unacceptable content. What is evil content and what is good content is not agreed upon between different groups of humans. Therefore they compete on the content on the internet.
The Internet also poses one of the most difficult situations existing on the planet for parents. Parents across the globe who are knowingly or unknowingly defenders of the human spirit in their children find it difficult to put their children on the internet. It is such a challenging exercise to preserve the human spirit of your child if their heart and mind gets exposed to evil inputs from the internet. Parents knowingly or unknowingly care for their childs human spirit and want to raise a good human being. This means that the eyes and ears of their children do not get exposed to evil content and evil inputs. The eyes and ears are direct paths to the mind and the heart and affect the hearts of the children and affect their spirit and affect the childs character. Access to the internet poses a grave risk and allows possible access to otherwise dangerous content.
This poses a difficult situation where an attractable instrument exists in everyones pocket which exposes their childs eyes, ears, heart and mind to content which they consider evil, inappropriate and unacceptable. At a young age if the child starts browsing content on the internet and their immature mind gets exposed to information or content which they are not yet fit to absorb they then begin to think about things which perhaps they cant handle at that age. This is one of the most difficult situations on the planet for parents.
This presents a field which could be named as Internet Morality Engineering. Parents I guess would be interested in Morality Engineering. (Morality: principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior)
This is again a mixed bag of items where one mans morality is another mans immorality. Again the Internet here becomes a battleground for a clash of civilizations and a clash of values and a clash of cultures.
It is indeed a sad situation at the moment in the worldwide community that the internet is affecting the children and the youth of the planet in negative ways. It comes as a mixed bag where one could use the internet to gain insight into any subject technical, scientific or social but it could negatively affect childrens thoughts, mindset and character as well.
The internet and technology is possibly or definitely a cause of child and youth mental health problems. Exposure at a young immature age to mature content will most definitely lead to mental health problems. On this issue again the states of the world are inactive and the children and youth are getting exposed to everything on the net.
At what age should a child have a smartphone with internet access ? This is one of the most difficult questions for parents. The Morality and Privacy concerns regarding the internets content put much stress on the parents of the world.
It is an unfortunate state of affairs regarding the internet industry today that there aren’t much good controls present which would control childrens and youths internet exposure. States and governments don’t appear to be doing much to preserve their childrens or even adults minds, hearts, eyes and ears from evil, unacceptable content on the internet.
There seems to be a total lack of understanding of ‘evil and unacceptable’ and its definition and there seems to be no state or government efforts underway to prevent exposure to evil things on the internet. This again becomes a case for Internet Morality Engineering which would debate on evil and evil content and goodness and good content. A contentious issue which would definitely be debated heavily but do you want to not debate it today and have the children of the world
and children of your country or even your own kids to grow up with mental health problems ?
The hearts, minds and the spirits of the children of the world are at stake and Internet Morality should be debated heavily. The Internets governing laws around the globe should address Goodness, Evil, Morality, Good Content, Bad Content, childrens exposure, child mental health and youth mental health problems. This should not just be left to private individuals and small groups. It must be addressed in government forums at a large scale. It is important for the children of the world and the parents of the world and the future of the internet and the future of humanity to have some control exercised on the internets content.
The ears and the eyes are means of reaching the heart and the mind. It should be debated what the ears and the eyes of children, youth and even adults get exposed to on the internet. What is acceptable exposure and what is unacceptable exposure ? It is a difficult debate but is important.
I would advocate that all the content on the internet must be ‘tagged’ like the content on the TV. Content on TV is tagged G (General), PG (Parental Guidance) and M (Mature) etc. and there are tags on content on streaming services, movies and games. I believe the same should be done for everything on the internet. There should be a G switch for the internet where it can be enabled on a smartphone and a browser and access becomes restricted to G rated Internet much like
streaming services parental guidance mechanisms. This will require at source i.e. at server side programmatic enablement.
In addition a home and the community is a controlled exposure by parents for their kids. I would also advocate that much like this there should be a service available on smartphones and all internet platforms where a parent controls exposure to only allowed online acquaintances for their kids.
I would say that as there is IETF – Internet Engineering Task Force there should be an IMETF Internet Morality Engineering Task Force.
This is very very important. Keep in mind that not every parent is fully educated or fully literate or fully tech savvy to control content at user end. There should be at source support for Internet Morality Decisions.