Academic Module "Sustainable Digitalisation" - by Citra Yuda Nur Fatihah

In recent years, technology has become not only a rapidly growing industry, but an increasingly vital consideration for nearly every company and government agency in the whole world. At the same time, a data breach, privacy and security violation, and other related things can lead to high‐stakes lawsuits, significant business disruptions, intellectual property theft and national security vulnerabilities. This Academic Module II: Sustainable Digitalisation has facilitated us in examining how current wide-ranging global issues, such as big data, privacy and security, social media and disinformation, have shaped our daily lives as well as enabled us in identifying its positive and negative sides in order to find how our future digitalisation would look like.

The week started stimulatingly. In our first call, we were discussing the implications of digitalisation for the future of labour. We all realize how technology and digitalisation will soon replace humankind in some area of jobs and professions. On the other hand, this technology seems to be rushing at a rate that the law simply cannot keep up with. It is changing faster than the regulators’ pace, and therefore our legal, and even ethical frameworks are not ready to catch up. Our break-out group, for example, specifically talked about the increasing rate of self-driving car accidents. If something happens, who is to blame?

In another call, Professor Ingrid Schneider has given us a very comprehensive presentation on how big data works. She discussed how data protection should be, highlighted the importance of keeping our privacy safe as our fundamental right, and explained the application of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). It was interesting to reflect on Wulf’s question what it means when people say that they have nothing to hide. They don’t care if anyone may surveil their WhatsApp or email conversation? For me, the "nothing to hide" argument mistakenly suggests that privacy is something only criminals desire. In fact, we choose to do many things in private – sing in the shower, play with our kids, confide in family and friends – even though they are not wrong or illegal. Who would not be embarrassed if all of their most intimate details were exposed? So, even though we don’t have anything to hide, at the very least we still have something to fear because we do not know what the government does with the data it collects. Therefore, the refrain "nothing to hide" should not be a license for sweeping government surveillance.

Eventually, there are a lot of things that the government has to do, and one of the most important things is to prepare the legal framework. Innovation and technology often race so quickly that our legal frameworks cannot catch up, the legislators must really work in advance and finish setting up the whole legal structures before entering this digital transformation, in order to ensure the law enforcement for all the citizens based on the Constitution and legal codes, and not based on any corporate end-user license agreements.

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