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Government of Spain passes the letter of digital rights to public consultation

Key facts:

The document covers, among others, rights to freedom, equality and participation.

The legislation tries to create a “magna carta” with rules for the digital world.

A first version of the so-called “Letter of Digital Rights” was presented this Tuesday by the Government of Spain. The 12-page document and 25 guidelines entered the public consultation phase to receive comments from the public and apply possible improvements.

The draft is made up of five types of rights: freedom; of equality; participation and shaping of the public space; work and business environment; and rights in specific settings. Citizens interested in making suggestions have until December 4.

«The text includes a set of principles and rights to guide future regulatory projects and the development of public policies. (The intention) is to guarantee the protection of individual and collective rights in the new digital scenarios, ”the government presidency reported.

Some of the provisions on data protection, for example, state that everyone has the right to the protection of personal data that concerns them. In addition, user information must be treated fairly, for specific purposes and based on the consent of the person concerned. In these cases, everyone will have the right to access the data collected and to obtain its rectification, in such cases.

The proposal also makes it clear that People have the right to pseudonymity, not to be located and to have behavioral profiles not drawn up. These last two rights have been widely discussed in global societies due to the expansion of the COVID-19 pandemic and the treatment that technology companies have given to their users’ information.

It also stipulates a section aimed at protecting the digital identity of each individual and that this may not be “altered, controlled or manipulated by third parties against the will of the person.”

In relation to digital security, it is established that public authorities adopt and promote the necessary measures to guarantee it, always in collaboration with technology companies and with the users themselves.

Internet neutrality and freedom of expression

In the section on participation rights, the letter talks about Internet neutrality, freedom of expression and freedom of participation. Regarding the first, the draft indicates that the public authorities must guarantee this right. Indeed, Internet service providers are called upon to provide a “transparent offer of services without discrimination on technical or economic grounds”.

Free expression is one of the most extensive points of the document. One of the items to highlight is that users have the right to know when information is prepared through automated processes, that is, without human participation.

The media are responsible in addition to making known when information has been sponsored by way of advertising, to offer rectification to users, and to notify when a news has been updated.

“The constitutional principles relating to truthfulness, informational pluralism and diversity of opinions and information will be guaranteed (…) those responsible for the media will adopt appropriate protocols to guarantee the rights of all people,” the letter explained.

The objective of the letter is to integrate in a single document the fundamental rights established in the Constitution, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and in international treaties and agreements, but adjusted to the digital space .

In the virtual world, one of the most sensitive aspects is related to the manipulation of user data. The situation encompasses almost all types of companies that offer services on the Internet, including those that operate with bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.

In an interview with CriptoNoticias, Johanna Faliero, specialist in computer law and computer security consultant, pointed out that, in the case of bitcoin, the regulation of cryptocurrencies must go through the correct use of user data.