Bits of Freedom
Freedom of communication
Our current online communication ecosystem, characterized by a few overly-dominant platforms and closely interwoven with the tracking-based advertising industry, frustrates civil society’s ability to hold power accountable and put forward new ideas and bold alternatives.
The careless use of data and algorithms can reinforce inequality and compromise legal certainty. Strong regulation and oversight can protect people against these harms.
Government surveillance needs to be targeted, predictable and come with strong oversight and safeguards.
Awareness and action
We work to strengthen people’s understanding of technology and civil society’s ability to respond to technological developments.
Monthly update on human rights & tech: March 2023
Government bans TikTok (sort of), Facebook has a bad day in court, and civil society organizations mobilize against Big Tech: a quick read through the most interesting developments at the intersection of human rights and technology from the Netherlands. This is the third in a series.
The importance and future of our European work
We want to bring our years of experience in combining public communications and advocacy to Brussels. And structurally embed public interest technology capacity in our European network.
Monthly update on human rights & tech: February 2023
An unprecedented appearance by the European Commissioner for Home Affairs, innovating on quicksand and the cabinet vs. confidentiality online: a quick read through the most interesting developments at the intersection of human rights and technology from the Netherlands. This is the second in a series.
Repression is really something different than prevention
In the Netherlands the mayor is responsible for maintaining public order. However, local rules do not provide the authority to preventively curtail the freedom of expression, and certainly not on digital platforms.
The selective hearing of Ylva Johansson
How cool: commissioner Johansson came to receive the people’s choice award of the Big Brother Awards in person. However, it stings a bit, because she is very selective about when and with whom she enters into discussion.
Who does the EU legislator listen to, if it ain’t the experts?
There’s a huge gap between the advice given by experts on child sexual abuse and the legislative proposal of the European Commission.
European Commission must have greater ambition in combating sexual violence
Last year, the European Commission made a far-reaching proposal to protect children against sexual violence. But a study by Delft University shows that there is a lot wrong with the substantiation of the proposal.
A power struggle rages for your data
Here’s what we think of the new rules on how the secret services should handle bulk data.
Monthly update on human rights & tech: January 2023
The secret services’ reign of confusion, rogue mayors and algorithm oversight (or not): a quick read through the most interesting developments at the intersection of human rights and technology from the Netherlands. This is the first in a series.
A limited ban on biometric surveillance undermines its own potential
We spoke in the European Parliament about how a limited ban on biometric surveillance undermines its own protection.
GDPR-compliance research within the ten largest municipalities
Bits of Freedom has done research on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)-compliance within the ten largest municipalities of the Netherlands. Unfortunately, most municipalities scored a failing grade, despite the fact that the GDPR has celebrated its fourth anniversary.
Europol is going to collect a massive collection of porn of European youngsters
You do not help children and young people by making Europol compete with Pornhub.
Sex crimes unit already overwhelmed, and EU lawmakers will only make it worse
Dutch sex crimes investigators are already overloaded. The European Commission has plans that will only make this worse by generating a plethora of, often unjustified, reports.
8 new rules that will protect you from online platforms
At the start of 2024, the Digital Services Act (DSA) will come into effect. That means that there will be many new rules that will benefit users of platforms like Google, Instagram, and TikTok. We read the textRead the final text of the DSA here! –which has just been final–which has just been finalized– and list 8 rules that will soon protect your rights from online platforms.
Google accuses you of child abuse? Impossible! Right?
When technology companies use computes to detect material of sexual abuse of children, mistakes will be made. As a result, innocent users are wrongly accused of child sexual abuse.