‘The right to privacy in the digital age’
Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights*
::: above is the 16pp report in full – pdf – source: UN :::
V. Conclusions and recommendations: (excerpt)…
47. International human rights law provides a clear and universal framework for the promotion and protection of the right to privacy, including in the context of domestic and extraterritorial surveillance, the interception of digital communications and the collection of personal data. Practices in many States have, however, revealed a (/HRC/27/3716) lack of adequate national legislation and/or enforcement, weak procedural safeguards, and ineffective oversight, all of which have contributed to a lack of accountability for arbitrary or unlawful interference in the right to privacy.
48. In addressing the significant gaps in implementation of the right to privacy, two observations are warranted. The first is that information relating to domestic and extraterritorial surveillance policies and practices continues to emerge. Inquiries are ongoing with a view to gather information on electronic surveillance and the collection and storage of personal data, as well as to assess its impact on human rights. Courts at the national and regional levels are engaged in examining the legality of electronic surveillance policies and measures. Any assessment of surveillance policies and practices against international human rights law must necessarily be tempered against the evolving nature of the issue. A second and related observation concerns the disturbing lack of governmental transparency associated with surveillance policies, laws and practices, which hinders any effort to assess their coherence with international human rights law and to ensure accountability.
*Ben Emmerson QC (United Kingdom) is the Special Rapporteur (UN) on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism. On 1 August 2011, he took up his functions on the mandate that was created in 2005 by the former United Nations Commission on Human Rights and renewed by the United Nations Human Rights Council for a three year period in September 2010. As Special Rapporteur he is independent from any Government and serves in his individual capacity.
Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Terrorism/Pages/SRTerrorismIndex.aspx