Historic Resolution Passed To Foster Relationship Between UN Human Rights Council And Privacy Commissioners

Author:Ms Cynthia O'Donoghue
Profession:Reed Smith

An 'historic resolution' between the UN Human Rights Council and privacy commissioners passed earlier this year to strengthen links between the organisations on the right to privacy.

The decision to appoint a United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy has been called an 'historic resolution' by Joy Liddicoat, assistant commissioner of New Zealand's Office of the Privacy Commissioner. The resolution, designed to strengthen links between privacy commissioners and the UN Human Rights Council, is entitled 'the right to privacy in the digital age'. It reaffirms the right to privacy; recognises the global nature of the Internet; emphasises the need for privacy to be protected both on and offline and most importantly, establishes the post of Special Rapporteur for the next three years.

The establishment of such a high level privacy representative is likely to be a very popular one. Until this decision, few data protection and privacy commissioners have been able to be involved in the UN resolution process as mechanisms have not been in place to allow this. This has led to growing concerns, and at the beginning of March, a coalition of 92 civil society organisations, including Amnesty International, Privacy International and Article 19, came together to encourage the Council to make this appointment. They were rewarded...

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