Panel of experts discuss the virtues and risks of our digital health data being captured and used by others in the age of Facebook, metadata retention laws, Cambridge Analytica and a rapidly evolving neuroscience. The discussion was moderated by Jon Faine, ABC Radio presenter. The panelists were:
As researchers develop new non-invasive direct-to-consumer technologies that read and stimulate the brain, society must consider the appropriate uses of such devices. Will these brain technologies eventually allow enhancement of abilities beyond human capabilities? In what settings are people using these devices outside the purview of researchers or clinicians? Should consumers be allowed to ‘hack’ their own brain in order to improve performance?
To explore these challenges and the ethical issues raised by advances in do-it-yourself (DIY) neurotechnology, the Emerging Issues Task Force of the International Neuroethics Society organized a virtual panel discussion. The panel discussed neurotechnologies such as transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and electroencephalogram (EEG) headsets and their ability to change the way we understand and alter our brains. Particular attention will be given to the use of neurotechnology by everyday people and the implications this has for regulatory oversight and citizen neuroscience.
The increasing use of neurotechnological devices for basic neuroscience research, clinical applications, but also in the consumer domain, creates substantial ethical and legal challenges for governing the access and use of human brain data collected by these devices. Furthermore, some neurotechnologies, such as AI-based closed-loop brain-computer interfaces, may interfere with a person's mental privacy or mental integrity which has given rise to a debate on the necessity and precise legal framing of neuroprotection laws, also referred to 'neurorights.'
In this interdisciplinary panel discussion, panelists explored and discussed the technical, ethical, and legal dimensions of brain data governance and neurorights.