September 13, 2014- In the context of discussions held at HRC 27 on “the right to privacy in the digital age”, FIDH advocates for the creation by the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) of a Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy.
Its mandate should be broad enough to encompass all of the issues that are related to the violations of this right and, in particular, cover three trends evidenced in FIDH’s research, advocacy and litigation:
1) The mass surveillance, interception of communications, and the collection and use of personal data on a mass scale by state agencies, notably those of the US National Security Agency PRISM program and the Colombian Department of Security DAS;
2) The use of surveillance techniques and technologies by business enterprises against trade unionists, human rights defenders and journalists, and the related states’ obligations to regulate their use and respond to abuses, notably in Brazil, Peru and Colombia;
3) The export of surveillance technology to States responsible for serious human rights violations, as was done with the export of surveillance technology by French companies to the Gaddafi regime of Libya.
The Special Rapporteur mandate would be a holistic, comprehensive, and systematic response to such concerns, strengthening the monitoring of the violations of this right, promoting accountability for violations, advising governments on how to set standards, and ensuring protection against future violations.
During HRC 27, FIDH will meet with diplomatic missions to plead for the creation of a mandate of UN Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy at an upcoming session of the Council (in the first semester of 2015). We will also support a side event organized by ACLU and Privacy International, with FIDH member organizations Justiça Global (www.global.org.br) and CCAJAR (www.colectivodeabogados.org), as well as Human Rights Watch as co-sponsors.