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The human being-machine connection: new rights or new threats to fundamental freedoms?

Motion for a resolution | Doc. 14814 | 23 January 2019

Mr Olivier BECHT, France, ALDE ; Mr Bertrand BOUYX, France, NR ; Mr Iulian BULAI, Romania, ALDE ; Mr Raphaël COMTE, Switzerland, ALDE ; Mr Hendrik DAEMS, Belgium, ALDE ; Mr Bernard FOURNIER, France, EPP/CD ; Mr André GATTOLIN, France, NR ; Mr Fabien GOUTTEFARDE, France, NR ; Mr Carles JORDANA, Andorra, ALDE ; Mr Konstantin KUHLE, Germany, ALDE ; Mr Jacques LE NAY, France, ALDE ; Mr Jacques MAIRE, France, NR ; Mr Edmon MARUKYAN, Armenia, ALDE ; Ms Emilie Enger MEHL, Norway, ALDE ; Ms Judith PALLARÉS, Andorra, ALDE ; Ms Patrícia RIBERAYGUA, Andorra, ALDE ; Mr Zeki Hakan SIDALI, Turkey, ALDE ; Ms Olena SOTNYK, Ukraine, ALDE ; Mr Vincent VAN QUICKENBORNE, Belgium, ALDE ; Mr Mart van de VEN, Netherlands, ALDE

Since the invention of new digital technologies, the computer has always been presented as a progress for mankind in many fields such as education, science, health, economy, culture. This is the reason why the connection of digital elements in the human body has taken place without much debate (for instance, connected pacemakers). Similarly, the connection of the human brain to a computer, via brain helmets, allows more and more disabled people to communicate or even to direct objects.

However, the creation of interfaces between the brain and the machine could also be used in the other way, allowing the machine, and those who control it, to get into the brain in order to read, delete or add information. This is already the case for some programmes which open the door to applications that could bring to an end the last refuge of freedom: the mind.

The Parliamentary Assembly should therefore evaluate how this human-machine connection brings along not only progress but also poses threats to our fundamental freedoms. This report would enable the Assembly to make recommendations to member States on the possibility of strengthening the level of protection of freedoms in the light of these new technologies.