Conseil d’Etat’s annual study: Fundamental rights in the Digital Age

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Digital technology presents a problem for fundamental rights insofar as it increases the amount of data generated and results in a generally networked world; whilst it is not a negative phenomenon in itself, it raises issues around the content of fundamental rights and how they are implemented.

The Conseil d’Etat’s annual study comes at a time when the phenomenon has taken on a new dimension: a threefold upheaval is underway, in technical innovation, in the economy and in society’s understanding of digital technology, and it is raising further questions on fundamental rights.
This study will first examine how the rise of digital technology has already prompted the recognition of new fundamental rights and freedoms and changed the conditions under which they are exercised  and then show how the ambivalence of digital technology is forcing a rethink of how such rights should be protected. Finally, it puts forward 50 recommendations to ensure that digital technology supports both individual rights and collective interests.

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