Privacy and surveillance

Freedom of expression and privacy can be seen as two sides of the same coin. On the one hand, they are mutually reinforcing rights: both are essential foundations for open and democratic societies and individual self-fulfillment. Both act as powerful bulwarks against state and corporate power in the modern age. Privacy is also an essential pre-requisite to the meaningful exercise of freedom of expression, as people are much more likely to express themselves freely in the knowledge that their communications are private and secure. For this reason, governments’ mass surveillance powers are not only a gross invasion of privacy but also have a significant chilling effect on freedom of expression.

On the other hand, freedom of expression and privacy can be in conflict. One person’s expression may impinge on someone else’s privacy and vice versa. This tension is exacerbated by digital technologies, as personal information can be collected and made available across borders on an unprecedented scale and at minimal cost for both companies and states in the digital era. At the same time, the application of data protection laws and other measures to protect the right to privacy can have a disproportionate impact on the legitimate exercise of freedom of expression.

06.09.2018 6 min read

Egypt: NGOs call for full repeal of “cybercrime” law and reform of dangerous law regulating media

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25.07.2018 15 min read

Privacy and consent in the age of browsers: The question of WebRTC

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Brazil: Data protection bill must be passed without veto
18.07.2018 2 min read

Brazil: Data protection bill must be passed without veto

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09.07.2018 14 min read

UN HRC maintains consensus on Internet resolution

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27.04.2018 5 min read

Canada: OPC proposals wrong way to protect reputation

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AI tools threaten right to privacy and freedom of expression – new report
25.04.2018 4 min read

AI tools threaten right to privacy and freedom of expression – new report

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Privacy and freedom of expression in the age of artificial intelligence
25.04.2018 2 min read

Privacy and freedom of expression in the age of artificial intelligence

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Iran: Cases of Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Seyed-Emami create dark precedent for privacy violations and unlawful detentions
15.03.2018 11 min read

Iran: Cases of Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Seyed-Emami create dark precedent for privacy violations and unlawful detentions

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Human Rights Council 37: What’s at stake for freedom of expression?
26.02.2018 16 min read

Human Rights Council 37: What’s at stake for freedom of expression?

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