About digital privacy and human rights
Digital technologies do not exist in a vacuum. They can be a powerful tool for advancing human progress and contribute greatly to the promotion and protection of human rights.
However, data-intensive technologies, such as artificial intelligence applications, contribute to creating a digital environment in which both States and business enterprises are increasingly able to track, analyze, predict and even manipulate people’s behavior to an unprecedented degree. These technological developments carry very significant risks for human dignity, autonomy and privacy and the exercise of human rights in general, if applied without effective safeguards.
OHCHR’s work on privacy in the digital age
Under the instructions of relevant resolutions by the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council, OHCHR has organized expert consultations and published reports to explore the challenges that the right to privacy and other human rights face in the digital age.
Latest reports and publications
The impact of new technologies on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of assemblies, including peaceful protests (2020): Among other aspects, this report discusses the human rights impacts of various surveillance practices and calls for a moratorium on the use of facial recognition technology in the context of peaceful assemblies.
View report page | View document A/HRC/44/24
The right to privacy in the digital age (2018): This report explores how to address some of the pressing challenges that the right to privacy faces in the digital age, highlights the most significant current trends, and covers the obligations of States and business enterprises, safeguards and oversight. The report identifies key elements for data privacy frameworks that should be adopted by States and business enterprises.
View report page | View document A/HRC/39/29