UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy

With Senior Research & Policy Officer Phuong Nguyen

The CPRC team attended the UN Special Rapporteur consultation in Sydney on 26 & 27th July to provide further policy feedback to help shape the final recommendations of a report due to the UN General Assembly in October 2018.

Professor Joseph Cannataci, UN Special Rapporteur for Privacy appointed by the Human Rights Council, is mandated to examine and report back to the Council on prevailing challenges in relation to the right to privacy. He is charged with examining international and national frameworks, national practices and experience, trends, and developments, and making recommendations to ensure its promotion and protection, including in connection with the challenges arising from new technologies.

In October 2017, Professor Cannataci presented the interim report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy to the General Assembly of the United Nations, highlighting the challenges of Big Data and Open Data on human rights and privacy. Feedback via submissions concluded in April 2018.

The consultation hosted by the Allen’s Hub at UNSW was to seek further public feedback prior to the finalisation of the report recommendations.

CPRC CEO Lauren Solomon presented findings from CPRC’s Consumer Data & the Digital Economy report, participating on an expert panel with Joanne Yates, St Vincent de Paul Society NSW; David Lacey, ID Care; Delia Rickard, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission; and Ed Santow, Australian Human Rights Commission.

One of the key concepts Professor Cannataci highlighted at the session regarding the importance of privacy is the recognition by the Human Rights Council that the “right to privacy can enable the enjoyment of other rights and the free development of an individual’s personality and identity, and an individual’s ability to participate in political, economic, social and cultural life, and noting with concern that violations or abuses of the right to privacy might affect the enjoyment of other human rights, including the right to freedom of expression and to hold opinions without interference, and the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association… .”

Something which no doubt only increase in importance and relevance as technology continues to evolve. You can read more about this on Professor Cannataci’s website on privacy and personality.

Call for submissions

Additionally, the UN Special Rapporteur is calling for contributions on ‘Gender Perspectives on Privacy’. This consultation seeks to have a better understanding of privacy as it relates to gender. Submissions are due by 20th September 2018.

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