This first Yearbook gives an excellent impression of the broad spectrum DEF covers and a view on its multi-disciplinarity. The 18th century enlightenment period gave birth to a self-conscious sense of power and responsibility among people in Europe – together with a few important links to Ben Franklin’s United States – and this proved to be one of the major revolutionary events of the modern era. It can be argued that the World Wide Web, emblematic of our Digital era, embodies the basic Enlightenment ideals of Diderot’s original emblem. At this moment, two decades after the emergence of the Web, we can see changes in our social lives that were impossible to foresee 20 years ago. We have practically unlimited access to information, new attractive ways of social communication and a wealth of new services. But on the downside we see worries about security, privacy and access.

To stimulate the debate and develop policy recommendations for our digital future, the DIGITAL ENLIGHTENMENT FORUM Asbl was established in 2011. On the occasion of its first international FORUM 2012, which took place in Luxembourg's Abbaye de Neumünster, it published the Digital Enlightenment Yearbook 2012 with a selection of papers addressing many aspects of the digital future.

What's in the book

Scientists from technology, law and social sciences as well as policy-makers give an excellent insight in the their views on the many problems of digitisation in society. To give you a flavour, we mention some quotes below.

'As access to the Internet provides new capabilities that become constitutive of human thought and social life, we conclude that urgent action is needed in promotion and defense of the Internet and the Web.’ Sir Tim Berners Lee and Harry Halpin

'The most revolutionary change in the draft Data Protection Regulation is not the right to be forgotten or the right to data portability but the right to be informed about the potential consequences of being profiled.’ Mireille Hildebrandt

'It is essential that personal data and their market value appear on the radar screen of European legislators and supervisors in the areas of competition policies and consumer protection policies.Sophie In’t Veld

'The Enlightenment thinkers were enlisted to show how issues of trustworthiness were dealt with in earlier times – the connections between people, in terms both of basic hard-wired attitudes and of institutional connections, which enable people to cooperate and interact without exposing themselves to too much risk. This was the key property of the public space that emerged in the 18th century, and is also a key desideratum of the World Wide Web.’ Kieron O'Hara

'Humans have since their existence developed tools in attempts to master the world around them, including helping them to feel secure and enabling trust in their social environment. But now they have developed a tool, the Internet and Web with all social technology on top of it, which has grown to such complexity that its mastering becomes itself a problem.Jacques Bus

'Nudging privacy – that is, using soft paternalism to address and improve security and privacy decisions – might be an appealing concept for policy makers and technology designers.’ Alessandro Acquisti

'To leave the protection of privacy online to negotiations of notice-and-consent is not only unfair, it is to pass up a critical public policy opportunity that will have ramifications for the shape and future of the Net.’ Helen Nissenbaum

The authors

Alessandro Acquisti – Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University, United States
Tim Berners-Lee and Harry Halpin – W3C and Web Foundation
Ann Cavoukian – Information and Privacy Commissioner, Ontario, Canada
Paul De Hert – Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium and Franziska Boehm – University of Luxembourg
Alexander Dix – Berlin Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information, Germany
Jeffrey Friedberg – Microsoft, United States
Tony Graziano – Huawei, Belgium
Udo Helmbrecht, Demosthenes Ikonomou, Barbara Daskala and Rodica Tirtea – ENISA, Greece
Mireille Hildebrandt – Radboud University, Nijmegen, Netherlands
Masao Horibe – Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo, Japan
Sophie In ’t Veld – Member of the European Parliament, Netherlands
Hugo Jonker, Sjouke Mauw and Jun Pang – SnT, University of Luxembourg
Michael Kirby – Australia
Herbert Leitold and Reinhard Posch – A-SIT and Federal CIO Austria
Jena McGill and Ian Kerr – University of Ottawa, Canada
George Metakides – DIGITAL ENLIGHTENMENT FORUM; University of Patras, Greece
Emilio Mordini and Andrew P. Rebera – CSSC, Italy
Helen Nissenbaum – New York University, United States
Kieron O’Hara – University of Southampton, United Kingdom
Sachar Paulus – Brandenburg University, Germany
Kai Rannenberg – Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany
Michel Riguidel – Telecom ParisTech, France
Hamadoun Touré – Secretary General ITU
Jan A. G. M. van Dijk – University of Twente, Netherlands

(Alphabetical order)


The book can be ordered via IOS Press here. Associate members can also request a hardcopy, so long as stocks last.