Today 26 January 2021, Privacy Camp 2021 was held, organized by EDRi – European Digital Rights Initiative. Privacy Camp is an annual conference that brings together digital rights activists, academics, lawyers, IT professionals and people directly involved in decision-making from across Europe for 10 years now. Privacy Camp discusses the most important issues and current developments in the field of human rights on the Internet.
This year, the Metamorphosis Foundation in cooperation with the SHARE Foundation from Belgrade, BIRN Serbia, Atina Serbia and the e-Governance Academy from Estonia, organized the session – Local Perspectives: e-life and e-services during a pandemic.
Speakers at the session shared their experiences of the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, which are related to the spread of fake news, threats to citizens’ privacy, the inclusion of society in the introduction of digital services and the transparency of institutions as a key factor in building trust with citizens.
Although in different countries and in different legal systems, the experiences are similar when it comes to using the benefits of technological development but also the degree of digital literacy of citizens. The growing trend of providing more and more services by state institutions to citizens electronically, in addition to requiring consistent monitoring of technological development, advancing knowledge and changing the habits of citizens, requires precise determination of measures for the protection of personal data of citizens.
The general conclusion from the shared experiences is that the pandemic has confirmed to us that electronic services and tools are efficient, reduce administrative costs, and if well thought out and designed according to privacy rules, will not only make life easier but also increase the trust citizens have in institutions. Every country, regardless of the level of development and digital literacy, should work on the strategic planning of the digitalization process so that it is a natural and not an imposed process for the citizens.
The Metamorphosis Foundation, within the program Human Rights Online, is committed to helping communities cope with the changing effects of new technologies (including big data, artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology, and genetics). The goals of Metamorphosis in the program Human Rights Online are to promote “access for all” through the innovative use and dissemination of knowledge and ethical use of new technologies, to strengthen the rights and freedoms of individuals through the defence, to encourage and influence policies for technology that have an impact on everyday life, education on the right to privacy and advocacy for privacy protection and responsible government oversight.
Metamorphosis is also implementing the regional project “Increasing Civic Engagement in the Digital Agenda – ICEDA” in partnership with the e-Government Academy from Estonia, Levizja Mjaft! (Albania), CRTA – (Serbia), 35mm (Montenegro) and Open Data Kosovo, through whose activities it confirms the commitment to the introduction of the Digital Agenda for the Western Balkans and directly contributes to building the capacity of institutions and their transparency.