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Influencing policy and awareness


Thank you. Welcome

Is this thing on. Yes. Words are very powerful. The limits of my language is the limits of my world, a very clever man once said. Words, they are used to justify specific ways of looking at the world, the nature of things, not as abstract as they might seem sometimes, they actually have real consequences. Real laws are passed based on specific uses of languages. Real business decisions are made and real people's lives are affected by the specific uses of words and the worlds that they portray.

Now, think of the way we commonly describe online privacy. Or at least, the way in which it's described in policy making. We use words like limitation, protection, walls, cover, obstacles; all words that project this image of this iron-cast safe that is designed to protect our virtual commodities, a virtual cage that is also designed to both protect us and limit us. There are not too many words about online privacy that describe it as this online human evolution, a condition that keeps moving. Online privacy has a form of social evolution; privacy as an opportunity; privacy as the foundation of democracy; privacy as invasion and privacy as a new business model or online privacy as an actual realistic future scenario.

The limits of my language are the limits of my world. So the limits of these two definitions of privacy, the iron cage or the opportunity will actually constitute the boundaries of the world that we will decide to live in. So, think of the two worlds that these two definitions are describing. The future, the systems they inspire and the individual and the societies they portray.

Now, as an awareness raiser and an active member of this more formal internet governance environment, I found, I and we, people like me, we actually have very little power when it comes to influence real policy making, real legislation or in general just to control these very powerful lobbies that you've heard a lot about today that influence their decision-making processes, but one thing I have found is that we have really great power in influencing language, and this includes, as we heard before, the metaphors and indirectly the ways specific people, they use words, new words and the worlds that they portray.

So, if enough people, if I can make enough people start defining privacy as a form of innovation, as a new business model, as a future definition of what it means to be a human, these definitions, they will eventually affect social practices. They'll inspire business evolutions, affect people's perceptions and ultimately they're going to influence the way policies are made and decisions are made, so in the spirit of today, I actually have my personal declaration of independence. It's a declaration of independence of these negative descriptions of privacy that are dominant today, so I refuse for example to see privacy as an obstacle to online innovation, and I refuse to see anonymity as a criminal act. I refuse to accept that surveillance and online archives is the default, especially in this regards my specific work, when it comes to children and young people, and I refuse the notion that privacy is no longer a social norm. What privacy is, as we've seen today, it's innovation, it's a social norm, it's creativity, and most importantly, it is the most natural and human evolution of the internet.

That's it.