On March 26th the UN Human Rights Council unanimously agreed to establish a UN Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy. Over 90 NGOs and civil society organizations successfully petitioned the UN to establish such a mandate. This news represent a major step forward in the protection of privacy and signals an understanding of how significant our right to privacy is. A list of necessary criteria for the role identified by human rights organizations can be found here and the appointment will be made during the 29th session of the Human Rights Council (15th June – 3rd July).
Meanwhile, over 60 NGOs and organizations are appealing to the European Commission not to weaken Europe’s data protection laws, following leaked documents showing that European countries are systematically working to undermine European privacy protections and weaken its laws. EDRi, Access Now, Privacy International and Fundacja Panoptykon have completed a report on said matter which can be viewed here. The discrepancy between the news of a UN Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy and the intentions of policy makers to weaken Europe’s data protection laws is highly alarming. One step forward, many steps backwards. We await further developments and will be posting about them as and when they happen.
Echoing the momentum privacy matters are gaining at the UN, the International Parliamentary Union will debate and decide on a parliamentary resolution that IMMI will take part in drafting before an IPU conference in Geneva in November. IMMI Chairwoman Birgitta Jónsdóttir is co-rapporteur for the resolution: Democracy in the digital era and the threat to privacy and individual freedoms.
IMMI will also conduct research into data protection and privacy, culminating in legislative proposals and promoting public debate about these issues in Iceland, with regards to the IMMI safe haven objective.
Featured photo by United Nations Photo (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)