Digital rights and freedoms: what you need to know

2 min read
12. June 2024

In this digital age, every day we are confronted with a number of legal aspects that influence our online behaviour. From the question of who your data belongs to, to legal issues relating to intellectual property and freedom of opinion – the digital sphere is complex. Here, we highlight the most important legal aspects relevant to Switzerland, including intellectual property, freedom of opinion and data protection.

Digitalisation has fundamentally changed our lives. Communication, social networks, online shopping: it is hard to imagine our everyday lives without digital technologies. Yet, these changes also bring questions and challenges: which rights do we have in the digital world?

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Intellectual property: protection for creativity

Intellectual property includes works like music, books, films and software. In Switzerland, the Federal Copyright Act protects the creative output of individuals and organisations. This means that the authors of such works have the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute and publicly perform them.

Tips for protecting intellectual property:

  • Register a copyright: safeguard your work through a formal registration.
  • Use a watermark: add a digital watermark to clearly signify your authorship.
  • Use licence models: publish your works under licence models such as Creative Commons in order to clearly define your terms and conditions of use.

The most important points at a glance

  • Intellectual property: protect your creative works.
  • Freedom of opinion: use your voice responsibly.
  • Data protection: think about how you can protect your personal data.
  • Check sources: only share reliable information.

Freedom of opinion: your digital voice

The freedom to express your opinion is just as important online as it is offline. In Switzerland, this basic right is enshrined in the Federal Constitution, granting you the freedom to express your views online, be that on social media, in blogs or on forums. However, this freedom is limited, particularly when it comes to hate speech, discrimination or violating the personal rights of others.

Advice for taking a responsible approach to freedom of opinion:

  • Respect others: make sure that your posts do not contain any discriminatory or offensive content.
  • Check sources: ensure that the information you share is correct and trustworthy.
  • Consider data protection: do not publish personal information about yourself or others without their permission.

Data protection: protect your privacy

Data protection is a major concern in the digital world. In Switzerland, the New Data Protection Act (nFADP) governs how personal data is handled and ensures that respect for citizens’ privacy is upheld. This includes the collection, processing, storage and transferral of data.

Rights and freedoms in the digital world are diverse and complex. By familiarising yourself with the legal frameworks on intellectual property, freedom of opinion and data protection, you can ensure that you act safely and responsibly within the digital space.

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