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Should Tech Companies Use the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a Guide for their Privacy and Content Policies?

Alex Floyd Marshall
IT Consultant specializing in strategy, security, and automation, seeking positions in IT and Cyber Security.
・1 min read

A few weeks ago I heard David Kaye, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression, on The Lawfare Podcast. Basically, he proposed that tech companies, especially social media companies, look to international human rights law (and in particular the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) to guide their efforts at moderating content. This approach leans towards allowing more freedom of expression, not less, but he suggested it would provide some guidelines for what content can and should be policed (and what the goals of such policing should be). Interestingly, he also seemed to suggest that this approach would give companies a foundation for determining which of the many national legal regimes they are going to adhere to and which they might decide to resist or ignore.

What do you think of this idea?

Out of curiosity, I re-read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights thinking specifically from the perspective of how its Articles might apply to a tech company or platform. Here’s what I came up with as a framework, I’d love to hear other’s thoughts: https://github.com/apmarshall/human-rights-platform

Discussion (1)

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therealgrinny profile image
Connor

In a word? YES!

The same ethics that govern the physical lives we lead should also govern how we continually build our digital world.