Privacy is as a basic, fundamental human right
Geneva, February 25, 2020 – The OISTE Foundation, a non-governmental organization, in special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC), will lead a panel on the human right to privacy during the 43rd Session of the Human Rights Council (March 3, 2020, at 14:00 – 15:00, in room XXVII) at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
Privacy is as a basic, fundamental human right. It is also an endangered right. New digital technologies track and scrutinize us all at this age of surveillance capitalism (Zuboff, 2018). The digital economy considers every click, search or like as an asset to be monetized. Our lives, reflected in cyberspace, are plundered for behavioral data for the sake of a system that converts our freedom into profit. We are quietly being domesticated into accepting as normal that decision rights vanish before we even know that there is a decision to make.
A new awareness infused by a human-rights based approach that consider each individual “netizen” as a dignified moral being, worth of respect, is required. Otherwise, our connectivity will continue to offer a perverse amalgam of empowerment inextricably layered with diminishment.
For these reasons, the Foundation OISTE, – building upon the various resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly and the Human Rights Council touching on the protection and promotion of the right to privacy in the digital age – has set up a panel to address, inter alia, the following issues:
- Identifying and clarifying principles, standards and best practices regarding the promotion and protection of the human right to privacy
- Reinforcing the principles of non-arbitrariness, lawfulness, legality, necessity and proportionality in communications surveillance by the State.
- Ensuring that profiling, automated decision-making and machine-learning technologies do proceed in accordance to agreed safeguards and do not affect the enjoyment of human rights
- Introducing a gender perspective and ensuring that there exists effective domestic oversight and remedies for the violation of the human right to privacy
- Addressing the issue of personal data management: often individuals do not provide their free, explicit and informed consent to the re-use, sale or multiple re-sales of their personal data
- Addressing the issue of human rights impacts of artificial intelligence, with a particular focus on examples of discrimination and bias
The OISTE Foundation signed The International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance right after they were launched at the 24th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva in 2013. OISTE invites other organizations to join: https://necessaryandproportionate.org/
About the Human Rights Council
The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations responsible for the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe. It has the ability to discuss all thematic human rights issues and situations that require its attention. It meets at the UN Office at Geneva.
About OISTE FOUNDATION
Founded in Switzerland in 1998, OISTE was created with the objectives of promoting the use and adoption of international standards to secure electronic transactions, expand the use of digital certification and ensure the interoperability of certification authorities’ e-transaction systems. The OISTE Foundation is a not for profit organization based in Geneva, Switzerland, regulated by article 80 et seq. of the Swiss Civil Code. OISTE is an organization in special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC) and belongs to the Not-for-Profit constituency (NPOC) of the ICANN.
Foundation Council Member