Dutch text:
Manifest voor informatieverkeer



Person information in the information society, a manifesto



Constitutional principles

1. Person information is personal property.

Male pronouns are used throughout this manifesto while indicating both female and male persons.
Information about an individual person, i.e. in any way identifying him, is called person information, for short.
It is by no means unproblematic what qualifies as person information. Yet, its contingent character does not at all detract from the need for precisely this first principle for an equitable information society.
Integrity of person information as a principle of social equity supports establishing the person as the primary political actor: citizen.
The trias politica thus appears outdated. First of all, the so-called powers as traditionally known are actually facilitators, or should be for a mature democracy. Government facilitates, rather than rules. Citizens rule, period.
As problematic concepts go, democracy certainly qualifies. This manifesto aims at strengthening democracy’s foundation.
As a separate facilitating actor for social equity, that is, set apart from the legislative, judiciary and executive branches, a registrative branch (registrar) must be formally recognized.
Power rests essentially only in the citizen, adding up to a fivefold articulation of the social order: pentas politica. Empowered citizens first, facilitators second.
It could be augmented, for example, by a ritual branch resulting in a hexas politica (and so on). In a democracy, a remaining monarch would belong to the ritual branch, as does any church or other religious body.
This manifesto sketches formal social relationships regarding person information as actors interact from varied, (minimally) pentadic capacities.
According to this manifesto, a legal entity is also considered a person.


2. Property rights are irreducible and invest the person with original, complete self-determination over his person information.

Self-determination is considered synonymous with discretion.



Exceptions to self-determination

3. Only formal law can limit, without his immediately individual consent, the person’s self-determination over his person information.

How can the legislative branch, as facilitating actor, exert power over citizens? (A) society is a commonwealth of persons. The commonwealth mediates the personal through democratic process.
Why exceptions? Unlimited right of self-determination over person information could negatively affect trust as an essential ingredient for specialist contributions to social interaction.
Legal restraints to self-determination may include limits to control and management by the person himself of corresponding person information.
Guaranteeing availability for (an)other person(s), a representative of the formal registrative branch is charged with managing the person information governed by restrictions. As already mentioned in the comments accompanying article 1, the registrative branch is an addition to the traditional trias politica consisting of the legislative, judiciary and executive branches.
The representative(s) as charged with such facilitative powers for record keeping are accountable to the person for managing his person information.


4. Self-determination over person information can only be limited temporarily (maximum period: 3 years), targets a specific purpose for use for the minimum of correspondingly specific person information, and specifies which other person(s) acquire(s) the right of use. Prolonging an exception to self-determination requires a new legal procedure.

5. When a person is formally held not accountable for social actions, he retains the property of his person information but the right of self-determination over his person information transfers to his legal representative(s).



Voluntarily exchanged right of use

6. The person may grant rights to (an)other person(s) for the use of person information over which his self-determination holds.

Self-determination irreducibly gives the person the original right to use his person information. Therefore, any right of use granted to another person is only derived.


7. An agreement on granting a right of use at least stipulates a. the grantor, b. the grantee, c. the purpose, d. the occasion, or period, and e. the relevant subset of person information.

Derived right of use amounts to an authorization.
The agreement on granted right of use, i.e. derived, also specifies use frequency, varying from a single transaction to unlimited use (of the person information indicated by the agreement).
Other conditions, including for annulment, what rule of law applies, etcetera, deserve explicit attention, too.



Use under legal obligation

8. Using person information can be required by law. Voluntary agreements are ruled out for such compulsory use.

First of all the person himself is thus required to use his person information for specific purposes.
Examples of other persons obliged to use person information are government bodies; such legal entities, in particular, may be required to use person information over which self-determination has been lawfully denied to the person concerned (who nevertheless remains its rightful owner).
Person information liable to use under legal obligation is as a rule not permitted to be controlled and managed by the person himself; see also the comments for article 3 about information management by an appointed representative of the registrative branch.


9. Use under legal obligation is always a derived right. Its rule is temporary (maximum period: 6 years; however, when derived right of use under obligation resides in a legal exception to self-determination, the maximum period for that exception holds) and targets a specific use for the minimum of correspondingly specific person information. Prolonging the use under legal obligation requires a new legal procedure.



Information quality

10. The person is liable for the quality of his person information for which no legal exception to self-determination applies.

11. Regulations concerning limits to self-determination, voluntary agreements for granting rights of use, and regulations for use under legal obligation are all irreducibly part of person information.

As a contrast, in a dictatorship, or police state, voluntary agreements are not recognized, if not forbidden. In fact, such regulations would be especially included in the exceptions to self-determination over person information.



Accounting for use and management

12. The other person, that is, according to derived right of use, accounts to the person without a request to that extent having to be made by the latter for each transaction involving the use of person information. The report must be submitted to the person within fourteen days after the transaction.

13. Use includes management and control of — copies, regardless the medium, of — person information. Such use must also be based on an explicit agreement.

14. When the other person manages person information, he accounts for his management periodically, at least every half year.

15. The person has his interests represented by a confidant in case of person information that he irreducibly owns, yet over which he has no self-determination arising from legally established exception.

A confidant is formally certified based on specialization. For example, a person can appoint his general practitioner regarding his medical person information to the extent that his self-determination is limited.


16. The person consults his confidant on accountability for use, including management, of his person information over which he is exempt from for self-determination and which is therefore not available to himself.




March 2010 © Pieter Wisse

With proper reference, reuse of this text is welcomed.