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Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy

Purpose of the mandate

Privacy enables the enjoyment of other rights: the free development and expression of an individual’s personality, identity and beliefs, and their ability to participate in political, economic, social and cultural life. The Special Rapporteur is mandated to promote and protect the right to privacy by:

  • Reviewing government policies and laws on the interception of digital communications and collection of personal data
  • Identifying actions that intrude on privacy without compelling justification
  • Assisting governments in developing best practices to bring global surveillance under the rule of law
  • Articulating private sector responsibilities to respect human rights
  • Helping ensure national procedures and laws are consistent with international human rights obligations

The Special Rapporteur for privacy is increasingly interested in privacy implications in the following areas:

  • Mass surveillance
  • Using and retaining personal data
  • Forensic DNA databases
  • Open Data and Big Data

About the mandate

In 2015, the Human Rights Council created the first mandate on privacy in resolution 28/16. It requested the Special Rapporteur to seek credible and reliable information from Governments, non-governmental organisations and any other parties who have knowledge of situations and cases relating to privacy. The mandate was renewed for a period of three years in March 2018 (A/HRC/RES/37/2).

More on the history of this mandate.

Current mandate holder

Ana Brian Nougrères

In July 2021, the Human Rights Council appointed Dr. Ana Brian Nougrères of Uruguay as the Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy and she took up the mandate on 1 August 2021. A Professor of Law, Privacy and ICT at the School of Engineering, University of Montevideo and a Professor of Law, Data Protection and ICT at the School of Law, University of the Republic, Montevideo. She is also a practicing Attorney-at-law and Consultant on data protection. Her latest article, The Uruguayan law system facing security breaches, was published by LA LEY (Spain) in 2021.

Contact Information

Dr. Ana Brian Nougrères
Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy
OHCHR-UNOG
8-14 Avenue de la Paix
1211 Geneve 10, Switzerland

Email: [email protected]

Former mandate holders

Prof. Joseph Cannataci
2015-2021

Activities

End of Mission Statement of the Special Rapporteur on Privacy at the conclusion of her visit to Lithuania
12 to 16 December 2022

October 2021 – Planned report to the UN General Assembly "The transborder flow of personal data between corporations, law enforcement and surveillance"

March 2021 – Planned report to UN Human Rights Council "Progress, regress and other dimensions of the effective oversight of government surveillance"

Children’s right to privacy in the digital age must be improved
15 July 2021

See all

Videos

29 October 2020
Third Committee, Virtual informal General Assembly, 75th session
Watch on UN Web TV

5 March 2020
SR on Privacy presents the Interactive Dialogue - 20th Meeting, 43rd Regular Session Human Rights Council
Watch on UN Web TV