Ethical Chart


This chart states OISTE’s ethical posture in regards of the challenges that are highlighted in goal 16, targets 16.4 and 16.9 of the UN SDGs1. The emergence of new information and communications technologies (NICTs) came along with very complex and multi-faceted issues concerning data privacy and the protection of users’ personal data. The digital rights of individuals are often compromised, which requires a strong dedication in terms of awareness raising and advocacy from the multi-stakeholder community to work towards an open and secure cyberspace with the help of technologies such as digital identity, Internet of Things (IoT) or artificial intelligence. In today’s world, the use of the Internet has become ubiquitous and so should the use of responsible digital identity management technical tools. Individuals online should have credentials that enable them to identify themselves in the same way they can certify their identity in the physical world. The same goes for identifying objects and content online. The enormous amount of breaches in cyberspace has unavoidably led to a lack of trust and creates the conditions for the emergence of cyber-enabled illicit trade. Securing and authenticating the identity of people, objects and content is therefore of critical importance and has to be in line with the principle of non-repudiation2. The Foundation commits to this ambitious endeavor and believes that the technological asset, upon which it has proprietary rights (PKI), has a strong potential to pave the way towards a more secure and ethical cyberspace. Therefore, the OISTE Foundation strives to influence the decision-making processes that shape the following state of affairs:

Article 1

Respect of the human right to data privacy and the protection of users’ digital identity:

a)  Data privacy and users’ digital identity shall be respected by the State, the private sector or any other actor;

b)  Legislation at a national and international level shall be implemented to ensure the effectiveness of the right to privacy in cyberspace and provide law enforcement means to make it effective;

c)  The right to privacy in cyberspace shall be explicitly mentioned in article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Art 12. ‘’No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference [neither in the physical world nor in cyberspace] with his privacy, family, home, or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honor and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.’’

Article 2

 Ownership of persons’ digital identity and personal data is in the hands of the individual. Third parties cannot exploit the individuals’ identity and data without their express consent:

a)  Digital identity and personal data shall be implicitly included in the right to property;

b)  Individuals arethe only owners of their digital identity and shall dispose of it according to their own will which must be respected by all parties;

c)  Objects and content belong to the rightful claimant as an Intellectual Property Right and shall be protected by a digital identity.

Article 3

The validation of identity information of persons, objects and content is done using strong cryptographic technologies:

a)  To ensure the effectiveness of a strong identity protection and identification, the use of cryptographic technologies shall be generalized;

b)  Obtaining a trustful digital ecosystem is a goal in the fight to enforce the rule of law in cyberspace;

c)  In coherence with the right to privacy and to guarantee a trustful and transparent cyberspace, not only individuals, but objects and content shall have a digital identity.

Article 4

The use of artificial intelligence is subservient of human values and human command and needs to be in line with ethical and precautionary principles:

a)  Artificial intelligence shall be implemented to serve the common interest while adopting ethical practices;

b)  As we are not able to foresee the potential applications or consequences of new technologies, artificial intelligence shall be implemented with the principle of precaution to avoid unwanted consequences that could not be predicted or reversed;

c)  Artificial intelligence in alliance with an advanced form of digital identity management shall be used to protect children against harmful content or any criminal misuse of social networks.

Article 5

Internet governance is in the hands of a multi-stakeholder community empowered by internationally agreed by-laws and accountable to international tribunals:

a)  Internet shall be seen as a global primary necessity governed by a multi- stakeholder community;

b)  An international tribunal should have the ultimate decision-making authority to sanction on Internet governance matters;

c)  Internet governance shall serve, in priority, the public interest.

Article 6

The fight against illicit trade (and especially cyber-enabled illicit trade) has to be given more importance in the international policy agenda. In this respect:

a)  The OISTE Foundation subscribes to the analysis and recommendations of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in matters related to the fight against corruption and illicit trade;

b)  The OISTE Foundation supports the work of international law enforcement agencies such as but not limited to Interpol, Europol and/or UN organizations in their fight against illicit trade;

c) The OISTE Foundation subscribes to a multi-sectorial, international and holistic strategy to eliminate illicit trade;

d) The OISTE Foundation shall play an active role and create incentives to combat illicit trade by endorsing initiatives such as the Anti-Illicit Trade Declaration that has already been signed by internationally recognized entities.


  1. Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. Target 16.4: “By 2030, significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen the recovery and return of stolen assets and combat all forms of organized crime”. Target 16.9: “By 2030, provide legal identity for all, including birth registration”.
  2. The principle of non-repudiation ensures that people (or objects) on both sides of an encrypted exchange of information or data are the people (or objects) they claim to be.