Digital technologies have the ability to stimulate political engagement and thus may foster representative deliberative democracy. However, digital technologies can just as easily become a challenge to democracy, either deliberately by obfuscation and manipulation or more intrinsically, as digital technologies as such are prone to bias. With a focus on transparency and privacy as underlying pillars of democracy, this chapter illustrates the challenges of digitalization for democracy. Such challenges do not pertain to one specific democratic stakeholder, but relate to the entire democratic ecosystem. Because of the complexity and variety of such ecosystems, further research should focus on better understanding the impact of digitalization on the pillars, values and interests underpinning democracy, taking into consideration the difficult interplay between the different stakeholders and technology as a separate – non-neutral – actor
Privacy and data protection are closely related fundamental human rights. However, caused by the importance of the emerged information society, privacy and data protection are often unjustly considered to be synonyms. In the Netherlands, the distinction between the two rights is evident from the wording of the Dutch Constitution. This distinction is important, as both rights have their own legal framework containing different criteria to assess compliance with either privacy or data protection. This chapter first describes the Dutch legal frameworks regarding privacy and data protection and their relation to European law. The second part of the chapter provides an analysis of how the Dutch courts interpret and apply the legal frameworks on privacy and data protection in actual cases. Keywords: courts, information society, privacy, data protection, Dutch Constitution, interpretation of privacy and data protection.