Within today’s information societies, there are a number of ‘informational interests’ on the basis of which certain rights are claimed and wrongs denounced. On the one hand, such rights may express an interest in the accessibility, integrity, accuracy and authenticity of public information (and information systems); on the other, they pronounce an interest in controlling access to and the use of personal and private information. Similarly, we denounce various acts as informational wrongs, sometimes expressing a personal or private interest (such as when we condemn a fraudulent statement or a breach of confidence) but at other times drawing on a deeper sense of the public interest (as when we condemn fake news and the like that compromise the information ecosystem).
INFOSOC is a Bournemouth University Law department initiative led by Professor. Roger Brownsword to inquire into, analyse and further understand the landscape of informational rights and wrongs and their corresponding regulatory requirements. For example, the particular ways in which technological developments disrupt our understanding of our informational interests as well as our sense of the kind of information society that we want to be merit further analysis. Without a clearer understanding of these matters, we cannot expect the legal and regulatory environment to be fit for purpose and acceptable in relation to the protection and privileging of our informational interests.
Under the umbrella of INFOSOC, law department staff
- develop a bespoke curriculum for UG students;
- host a seminar series as a platform for the discussion and debate of scholarly work on informational rights and wrongs;
- undertake a number of research projects concerned with (1) the ‘mapping’ of the landscape of informational rights and wrongs; (2) the framing of interests, relative to their importance for a community of human agents; and (3) the tensions that we find in the regulatory discourse relating to informational interests and the competence of the courts and legislatures/executives in responding to new informational claims and concerns;
- and launched the BU Working Paper Series.
Through INFOSOC, the law department adopts an integrated approach to the Teaching Excellence Framework and Research Exercise Framework, equipping and informing the next generation of lawyers, researchers and practitioners with a nuanced understanding of the ever-changing informational landscape and its legal implications.