Universal Declaration of Data Rights as Human Rights

May 11, 2021

We, the people of a democracy, declare data rights fundamental to civil and human rights.

As artificial intelligence is being used as a gatekeeper to opportunity in employment, healthcare, housing, education, and policing, we, the people, citizens of democracy, refuse to have our liberties limited and opportunities denied by artificial intelligence.

We, the people of a democracy, refuse to have our faces and personal information be subject to invasive surveillance. Personal data should be processed lawfully, fairly, and transparently.

We refuse corporations profiting off the limitless use of our data without willful consent.

We demand the right to restrict how our data is used and limit its sale to third party data brokers. We demand the right to be informed about who processes, stores, disseminates and receives our data, for how long, and for what purposes. Data collection should always be for a specified, explicit, and legitimate use.

We demand the right to access our data from those that have collected it, correct inaccuracies, and, if needed, erase our data.

We have the right to object to the processing of our personal data, biometric data or other sensitive data. Access to basic services and our freedom to move should not be denied to use based on our unwillingness to share our data.

We demand a prohibition on collecting biometric and other special categories of personal data without our affirmative consent, especially data that reveals our racial or ethnic origins, political opinions, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs.

We demand a moratorium on the use of racially biased and invasive surveillance technologies like facial recognition by all law enforcement agencies – including police, FBI, and ICE. We the people must democratically determine how these tools are used, and ban uses that breach fundamental civil rights.

We demand algorithmic systems be vetted for accuracy, bias, and non-discrimination , evaluated for harms and capacity for abuse, and subject to continuous scrutiny. 

We refuse for other people’s data to be used to make assumptions about who we are and to discriminate against us by association.

We demand the right to legal recourse and to file suit in court if our data rights are violated or artificial intelligence robs us of opportunity. The protection of data rights must be governed by elected leaders. Transparency is meaningless without being able to hold big tech companies accountable.

We, the people of a democracy, demand to be seen as more than data – as human beings with inherent value and inalienable rights.

We, the people of a democracy, declare data rights fundamental to civil and human rights.

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