Every citizen, regardless if and how much a person uses Information Technology or not, is influenced by the Internet on a daily basis. Therefore, it is essential that the rules of the Internet protect and respect human rights. Citizens should seize the opportunities the Internet creates for them, but also be aware of the risks.

As the high-profile case of “Max Schrems vs. Facebook” has shown, the engagement of citizens in issues related to privacy and data protection can have significant impact for Internet Governance in general.[1]

It is increasingly important for people to understand how technology and the use of it influences their daily lives. The way we interact with technology and the choices we make has consequences for our future. Often “code is law” which means that the basic technical setup and engineering decisions create the factual reality we live in. Laws are not always effectively addressing the challenges new technologies create for society. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the technical background of a device or a service up to an extent where one is confident in using it and can take full advantage of the potential.

Another important consideration is to consciously buy, choose and use equipment and services that respect your privacy and personal data. When a device or service is for free or very cheap it might be the case that personal data is being collected and sold. In other words: you might pay even more for the product by handing over your data while using the device or service. Using such a service or device is your choice, however you should be aware of the risks and consider these risks before using a product.

[1] For more information on the case please see the Press Release of the Court of Justice of the EU via https://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2015-10/cp150117en.pdf accessed 14.08.2017