Digital commons must be developed and deployed as a “shared [national] resource in which each stakeholder has an equal interest.”
For a democratised digital common, one can envision five ideas that must serve as foundational attributes:
i. Universal and equitable access at scale, with no community left behind
ii. Active policy of inclusion with a built-in philosophy to reduce costs and friction
iii. Sacrosanct rights like privacy (right to private digital communications with encryption), personal safety and security (protection from leaks and abuse of personal data), self-determination (to opt-out of terms and conditions, to control and consent to the use of one’s data, portability), not to be profiled (to opt-out of automated profiling and bulk surveillance)
iv. Recourse to the law: In case digital rights have been abused, one needs recourse to the law. This is only possible if a citizen’s data is within the same borders where he or she is a citizen or resident. Data localisation and sovereignty is invariably the only way to provide every citizen rightful recourse to the law.
v. Supports continuous innovation on top of it: The nature of technology’s rapid evolution necessitates continuous updates and innovation. Interoperability is also essential for digital commons to serve as platforms that can support new systems being built on top of them.