Speaking to a panel at the World Economic Forum (WEF), Australian eSafety commissioner and WEF member Julie Inman Grant told panellists that they might need to recalibrate people’s human rights online.
“We are finding ourselves in a place where we have increased polarization everywhere, and everything feels binary when it doesn’t need to be. So, I think we’re going to have to think of a recalibration of a whole range of human rights that are playing out online,” Grant said, smiling.
“You know, from freedom of speech to the freedom to be free from online violence, or the right of data protection to the right to child dignity.”
Australian eSafety commissioner Julie Inman Grant tells the World Economic Forum we need a “recalibration” of freedom of speech. pic.twitter.com/zEq72wFhNf
— Andrew Lawton (@AndrewLawton) May 23, 2022
She further told panellists that the “era of technological exceptionalism has got to end” and that technology companies should assess their risks and create “digital seatbelts.”
“When we get in our cars today, we take for granted that the seatbelts are embedded, that there are anti-lock brakes. That was something that was forced on the car manufacturers that they didn’t want to do and now it’s guided by international standards. What we’re saying is this era of technological exceptionalism has got to end. We’ve got food safety standards, we’ve got consumer protection laws,” Grant said.
“We need [tech] companies assessing their risks and then building the protections in as a forethought rather than an afterthought. If you will, embedding those digital seatbelts and erecting those digital guardrails.”
“If there’s no accountability and no transparency, we’re kind of ignoring that human malfeasance will always exist. And so, how are we going to remediate harm? I think those are questions that we have to think about now,” she continued.