Digitization compulsion and enforcement

By definition, digitized processes are better suited for working with modern computers than analogous and therefore have advantages, common said. Within this article we want to explain Hyperbola's stance about enforced digitization and why we have no interest to enforce so-called “marketable” or “standardized” packages within our system and project. We also use this article to define why we think that those on-going integration and enforcement of digital services is weakening our global society by adding multiplicators for hatred and harassment, in the end also promote purest forms of classism and therefore undermine democratic values in their roots and basics.

What is "enforced digitization"?

Digital enforcement is to be seen when there is no analogue or data protection-friendly alternative to a provided service, even though it would be feasible. In the current definition there are following layers:

  1. Digitalisation pressure: There is no analogue alternative anymore existing. Without a computing device you are excluded from public life.
  2. Compulsion for programs / applications: You need a program / application that can only be installed under certain conditions (ownership of a mobile device, choice of operating system, access to places where the concurrent program / application is stored, trackers, generic data access).
  3. Requirement of an account: You can only use a service when you create an account and provide personal information. This also applies if such an account is required to install a certain application.
  4. Data disclosure requirement: A service is only available when you agree to accept monitoring technologies such as trackers and cookies.

In principle, the greater the disadvantage you face compared to the digital solution, the greater the need to go digital - especially when it comes to participating in public life. In particular, services in the area of ​​government and basic services must always include an analogue alternative.

So ask yourself: Do you really want to install a program or is somebody demanding this as otherwise you cannot use a service offered? Do you really need to upgrade your operating-system out of your own motivation and will or is somebody enforcing the update and is not offering you insights why and what is done and in need for an upgrade?

Digital compulsion exists when:
  • the service could technically be implemented in analog form, but is not offered.
  • it is not an extra service and not using it would limit participation in public life, particularly with regard to state services and basic services.
  • an existing analog alternative is so unattractive that it is effectively out of the question.

Please do not let yourself be misguided: Yes, upgrades and fixes for software is important. But the on-going integration of external and remote services is not and this is not only limited to one special kind of system nowadays. The whole sphere of computing is crossed with such enforced integration. There is even hard- and software existing no longer working without any connection towards the global network (internet).

Differentiation - What is digital compulsion and what is not?

If a certain service can only be offered in this form for technical reasons, one cannot speak of digital compulsion. For example, an account (bank account) is of course necessary for online banking, but not any other service-account. Therefore, one can only speak of digital compulsion in the second case. As long as analogue access to the bank account is still possible (and on an equal basis!), one can speak of neither account compulsion nor digital compulsion. However, the boundaries can be fluid as we already stated before. And that's another major issue: Missing forms of competence as the way digital services form and develop further is not equal side by side to the knowledge needed and people would also need to have for their own assessment and evaluation of that service offered.

Please remember here that all is in a form political, it is the essential point of politics to be part of the living of human beings and their deeds. But the outgrow of complexity, the on-going ignorance on the one side and the missing on the other side leaves more beings helpless or even become victims of those so-called “progress”. We call this false form of being progressive as it clearly to see that we have no further gain for democracy, even the opposite.

The mobile device (smartphone) is not “commonplace”

The argument that mobile devices (smartphones) and the common repositories restricted to them (app stores) are “standard” and therefore do not pose a problem is increasingly being used. This ignores the fact that there are many people who do not have such devices for a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons, such as age, may decrease in the future. But various reasons could become even more important. These include financial factors, the fact that victims of digital violence turn away from technology (temporarily or permanently), or the conscious decision not to carry a all inclusive “pocket spy” around with them all the time. Mobile devices with alternative operating-systems are also not uncommon and are usually not compatible with commercialized programs / applications. Ultimately, the excuse that you only work with the “standard” repository (app store) also undermines innovation and the form of progress we have in mind at Hyperbola also: Technical emancipation for all people, so they are able to evaluate their usage, their soft- and hardware, modify and develop, even create new forms on their own will.

Gateway to digital violence, hatred and harassment

We have already described the outgrowing imbalance of knowledge forms. Exactly this is another very important point why digital compulsion and enforced digital services and processes on people is a very bad and destructive concept. It is clear to see that with more services and the growing complexity of needed infrastructure and dependencies we will loose the same time participation. People are and / or will get overwhelmed over time, while younger generations perhaps are direct suited for a possible span of time until they will also be confronted with the outgrow. This concept includes a gateway to digital violence and discrimination. And this includes even to be amused by the ignorance and lack of information, making fun out of others, blame them direct. Or do we really think it is civilized when we re-establish the medieval pillory on the global network? And there are concepts beyond getting more worse over time, like harassing groups and individuals until they withdraw from any communication on a platform / service or the global network in a whole. This leaves the question if we as mankind are able to learn out our own history: Shortened information, half-truths, hearsay, conspiracy belief, lies and myths are not helpful on the way for digital self-determination and technical emancipation.


Is it just a luxury problem to worry about surveillance? To enforce digitization will clearly lead to such results: We have already an imbalance of knowledge and competence. With the rise of even more services and platforms this will grow even further and outgrow our global society, leading to the question: Who is in control at last? Man or the machine? And do not get this wrong: There is no so-called “evil masterplan”. It is a simple imbalance caused of ignorance and it is up to everyone individual to call for a stop-signal, first and foremost for the personal perspective. Taking a step backwards is not that wrong especially when this imbalance is getting out of hands. And part of technical emancipation for Hyperbola is always that every user has full control over the system at any given time.