Aral Balkan

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The Three Laws of Personal Devices

The Universal Declaration of Cyborg Rights states that we extend our selves using digital and networked technologies and that this extended self must be protected under human rights law.

As the primary means by which we extend ourselves today are through our everyday personal devices – computers, mobile phones, the so-called “Internet of Things” and “smart” homes, cars, etc. – we must enshrine the human rights that pertain to our extended selves within concrete laws that protect personhood in the digital network age.

I propose we need no more or less than the following three:

Law 1

Your devices must work in your interests and your interests alone.

Law 2

When a feature can be built so that algorithms and data are kept exclusively on the person’s own device, it must be built that way.

If a feature cannot be built in this manner, all data must be end-to-end encrypted and the owner of the device must be the exclusive holder of the private key.

Law 3

The hardware, software, and services must be free and open.

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