Virtual Rights Online Symposium

Jaco Aizenman and John Clippinger are chairing an online symposium on virtual rights. Simple put, "[v]irtual Rights is the right to choose to have a Virtual Identity, and the right to choose not to have a Virtual Identity." More broadly, I think it refers to the rights people have surrounding their virtual identities as well. The effort has gained considerable ground in Costa Rica.

The online symposium will take place between Sep 30, 2005 and Mar 31, 2006 on a mailing list maintained by Jaco. Let him know if you're interested in participating.

I think this might be a good way of approaching privacy. In my IT Conversations interview with him, Dan Solve, characterized the current system we have as an "architecture of vulnerability," meaning that our privacy problems are built into the infrastructure. The virtual rights idea, might provide a governance model for build a privacy infrastructure that isn't vulnerable.

On the other hand, I think that the set of rights that people want to articulate, might be so restrictive that no reasonable commercial infrastructure could be built on top of them. There's a real need for balance in this area and so I'm anxious to see what comes of Jaco's symposium.