EFF to UN: you need a privacy watchdog

EFF joined more than sixty civil liberties organizations and public interest groups from across the world yesterday in calling upon the world's governments to support the creation of a United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy.

The special rapporteurs are independent experts appointed by the Human Rights Council and serve in their personal capacities. The establishment of a special rapporteur on the right to privacy is a key step that the United Nations can take to ensure that the right to privacy is given meaning and practical application in the light of technological developments. A special rapporteur would play a critical role in developing common understandings and furthering a considered and substantive interpretation of the right to privacy in a variety of settings.

The right to privacy is one of the few civil and political rights without specialist attention from a United Nations mandate holder. Privacy is an independent right, enshrined in a variety of international human rights treaties. There is a pressing need to better articulate the content of this right as part of international human rights law and produce guides on its interpretation, particularly as modern technologies are enabling communications surveillance—and consequent interference with this right—on an unprecedented and damaging scale.

Country: Global

Domains: Privacy

Stakeholder: Civil Society

Tags: human rights, surveillance, special rapporteur, privacy, UN, open letter

Posted on Wednesday 4 March 2015

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