Follow

Molly de Blanc and I wrote a Declaration of , outlining the Principles of Digital Autonomy. We'd love to hear your thoughts: techautonomy.org/

@o0karen0o Great - thanks for this. Love the idea. How do you want to receive feedback? I have some thoughts which I can post here or via email or a git tracker etc.

@dentangle For now I think email is best, you can email thoughts at the techautonomy domain

@dentangle You can also post them here, so everyone can discuss together, it's early in our process and I know Molly hasn't had the time to get an account here yet :)

@o0karen0o Firstly, I think this is a great idea. With all that's going on in the world at the moment, I think a set of principles like these are a great rallying point for the community. A large section of the Open Source and tech community already probably agree with many of these ideas, but it is important to make it
explicit.

@o0karen0o As for suggestions for improvement. First impressions: wall of text. It presents like a software license, which can be offputting (to non-lawyers at
least!). This is a call to arms, not a legal contract.

@o0karen0o Everything you say is true, but can you say more with less? What can you cut and still leave the core message? Fewer words per line, and shorter, punchier paragraphs. Paragraph two is particularly dense at 223 words.

In terms of formatting, it would be much easier to read with shorter line lengths. The first line has 27 words or 151 chars on my screen. 50-75 chars (10-12 words). See baymard.com/blog/line-length-r

@o0karen0o This can be achieved with a couple of tweaks to CSS. Say:

font-size: x-large;
width: 50%;

@o0karen0o You've listed four principles. There's a chance here to make that memorable, like the FSF Four Freedoms etc. Give it a name. The Four Cornerstones. The Four Pillars of Ethical Technology? I dunno - something catchy.

@o0karen0o You're on to something here. This goes beyond software freedom and into human rights. Lets do this. Would be proud to put a badge for this on my projects - this is why I do what I do.

@dentangle Yeah, I html like it's 1993! I changed the font for now to make it large, I think there is much to think about in terms of presentation down the road for sure.

@o0karen0o I don't know the context here but why wouldn't demanding free software be a way to demand "digital / technology autonomy"?

Wouldn't having server-side free software which supports federation and which is accessible via libre client software give us the necessary autonomy we deserve?

@abhas Yes, software freedom is a critical part of the story, but isn't enough as you say. I'm also not sure that free software plus federation is enough, for example.

@o0karen0o I would only argue that consent doesn't work. Consent is mostly what we have now underpining the business model. This model won't go away if we let the consent door open. Gathering and/or storing data beyond functionality or legal requirements should be unacceptable. Moreover, some kinds of data collection/storing should be illegal, regardless the functionality.

@tagomago As the page says this is a very first attempt - we're hoping to have a lot of discussion and collaboration on this from many people so thanks so much for making this point! We'll have to think about this one. For people who aren't technical I think consent is critical - for example, they probably wouldn't understand what data was necessary for functionality unless it was clearly explained so I don't think we can remove consent entirely, but perhaps we can make this clearer.

@o0karen0o Yeah, I guess this should be regulated, enforced, audited, and transparent all the way through, like it's done in other sectors, so that data extractors and non-technical people aren't left to their own devices, 'cause the only possible output is the mess we got right now.

@tagomago For sure - we need reasonable laws (especially over EULAs and click throughs etc). There is also a significant role to be played by consumers and technologists in putting our foot down on what we are willing to accept.

@o0karen0o Informed consent is tricky, obviously; I like the idea, but how is it different from the pages of technical gobbledygook that passes for licensing agreements with new software/apps now? Those are consent, but 'informed' is a whole 'nother question. Keep going! 😁

@o0karen0o
some great feedback in this thread already. I like where this is going, and will add to the #ethics section of our curated awesome #humanetech page.

github.com/humanetech-communit

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Mastodon for Tech Folks

This Mastodon instance is for people interested in technology. Discussions aren't limited to technology, because tech folks shouldn't be limited to technology either!