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Human Rights 26 March 2015

UNHRC Creates New UN Special Rapporteur on “The Right to Privacy in the Digital Age”

Nicolas Seidler
By Nicolas SeidlerFormer Senior Policy Advisor

Many of you might be interested to know that the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva has just adopted the establishment of a new UN Special Rapporteur on “The Right to Privacy in the Digital Age”. A Resolution to this effect was in consideration at the 28th Session of the Human Rights Council for the past 4 weeks, and the Internet Society was following these developments closely and engaging with stakeholders during the informal discussions.

Noteworthy, the mandate of the Special Rapporteur will include special consideration of issues related to the digital age and new technologies, including surveillance. This focus led to some arguments in the drafting sessions, but eventually the Resolution was adopted today without a vote.

This development is a direct follow-up to the UN General Assembly Resolution 69/166 from December 2014, led by Germany and Brazil, that asked the Council to consider the creation of such a mandate.

If the work of the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression is any indication, we can expect this new independent expert to bring some useful human rights insights into some of the key privacy issues that affect people today, whether online or offline.

The text of the resolution establishing the mandate is currently available on the extranet of the HRC (Request the password from UNHRC).

We welcome the creation of this Special Rapporteur and look forward to working with the UNHRC, our community and others around the world to address these important issues around privacy.

Are you excited by this development?

Photo: IMG_1954″  © 2012 Tom Page CC BY-SA 2.0 CC BY-SA 2.0

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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