Since 2001 the FSFE has been enhancing users' rights by abolishing barriers for software freedom. For 20 years we have been helping individuals and organisations to understand how Free Software contributes to freedom, transparency, and self-determination.

For the next two decades we need your help. We want everyone to be able to control their technology. Free Software and its freedoms to use, study, share, and improve are the key to that goal.

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FSFE supports recognition for User Data Rights

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FSFE supports the publication of the User Data Manifesto 2.0, which aims at defining basic rights for people to control their own data in the internet age. The manifesto is published today and also supported by GNOME, KDE, Netzpolitik.org, ownCloud, Spreed, “Terms of Service - Didn’t Read” and X-Lab.

Today, users are increasingly using online services to perform their daily computing, whether it is for social networking, for collaboration, or for sharing pictures, among many other activities. Thus, users are losing control over their own data more than ever.

According to the User Data Manifesto, people should have:

  1. Control over user data access,
  2. Knowledge of how user data is stored, and which laws or jurisdictions apply.
  3. Freedom to choose a platform, without experiencing vendor lock-in. FSFE believes that Free Software is necessary to guarantee this.
“The recognition of the User Data Rights defined in the manifesto is an important block to build a free society in the digital age“ says Hugo Roy, deputy coordinator of FSFE’s Legal Team and coauthor of the User Data Manifesto.
“The freedoms to use, share, study and improve software that we use in our lives is a necessity not only for programs on our local machines, but also for the programs that run online services processing our data” according to Björn Schießle, deputy coordinator of FSFE’s German Team.

The manifesto is a good starting point for an important debate about users’ rights online. FSFE looks forward to other organisations joining the effort to promote online services that respects users’ rights and freedoms.