The Commission “Ethical, Social and Legal Dimensions” aims to cover the following themes and topics at the WITFOR 2012 conference:
Following the discussion at WITFOR 2009, the challenging legal and regulatory implications of the new phenomenon of identity theft for developing countries will be explored in more depth and the approach and discussion will be expanded to Asian experiences. Identity theft (or better formulated identity fraud) has become a significant societal problem in various countries around the world, in particular the United States. It is often claimed that this crime will become a threat to African and Asian countries as well. However, this claim has never been adequately substantiated, let alone that thorough research has been conducted into the question whether the situation in the United States and Europe (i.e. the vulnerability of their national identification schemes to identity theft) can be compared to that of other countries.
Other themes currently developed by the Commission:
a. Technology and human security: Human security is used by the Commission as a theme to cover potentially a wide range of issues from development through to humanitarian aid and physical security through to data security. A topic to be dealt with is biometrics.
b. Technological means to protect privacy (privacy enhancing technologies): Recently there is a growing interest in the use of technological means to protect personal data (data protection rules build into the technology). By addressing this topic, the Commission aims to explore the possibilities of this approach for developing countries.
c. Intellectual property rights issues: The IP law issue will be placed in a wide context such as development implications, TRIPS and open source. It will allow for participation of a wide range of subject areas and perspectives.
d. Cultural specificity of technology regulation
Chair: Indira Mahalingham Carr, Professor of Law, University of Surrey, UK