Chapter 8: Intricate entanglements of law and technology
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After exploring the ends of law in the previous chapter, we shall now relate law to technology, while reflecting on the nexus of philosophy of law and philosophy of technology. The question is whether modern law can afford to remain unaffected by the changing ICI, and if not, whether and how it should be transformed to sustain its identity. To answer these questions we need to investigate to what extent modern law has distinct characteristics that were triggered by the ICI of the printing press, because if so, such characteristics cannot be taken for granted in an environment that thrives on data-driven agency. To prepare the ground for an inquiry into the interrelation between law and technology we first explore different conceptions of both technology and law. This confronts the preliminary issue of technologically neutral law that concerns the mode of existence of modern law and asks the question whether law exists independently from its technological embodiment. In the next chapters, the question of how modern law could transform to sustain its identity will be addressed, by investigating the role of data protection law and the notion of legal protection by design. Law is an essentially contested concept that gives rise to competing conceptions. In this chapter we will group these conceptions under three headings that are equally pertinent for the concept of technology. Within the philosophy of technology we can discriminate between those who view technologies as mere tools to achieve a purpose, and those who believe that Technology has an autonomous, independent dynamic.

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