The Nature of Online Information: A Key to the Difference for Digital Citizen's Access to Justice

17 Pages Posted: 10 Dec 2019

Date Written: July 25, 2019

Abstract

The digital difference in online information has transformed personal identity and privacy creating a world where you are your information. This transformation of the information environment has fundamental implications for the rights and responsibilities of digital citizens in accessing justice online and for courts if they are to retain control of personal information disclosed in judgments.

The benefits promised by online access to justice have paradoxically also created risks and regulatory challenges. Technology in the courts has increased access by facilitating procedures for example electronic filing, which save time and costs. However, those same procedures similarly make more personal information permanently and easily available. This has directly heightened the vulnerability of litigants.

Striking the correct balance between open justice and privacy in the digital age will require the courts to engage in a more effective and comprehensive regulatory framework to preserve the principle of open justice while responding to the increasing social and economic significance of privacy. While newer regulations, such as the right to be forgotten in the EU, begin to tackle these issues, they do not yet provide a comprehensive solution nor account for the complex digital framework connecting information and identity with access and privacy as facets of human dignity.

Keywords: digital information, access to justice, personal identity, privacy

Suggested Citation

Farrell, Jennifer K, The Nature of Online Information: A Key to the Difference for Digital Citizen's Access to Justice (July 25, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3491539 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3491539

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