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.

Turkey: New Internet law threatens freedom of expression online
28.07.2020 4 min read

Turkey: New Internet law threatens freedom of expression online

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EU: ARTICLE 19 calls for US surveillance laws to be reformed after data protection ruling
16.07.2020 2 min read

EU: ARTICLE 19 calls for US surveillance laws to be reformed after data protection ruling

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ARTICLE 19 welcomes new Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa
15.07.2020 3 min read

ARTICLE 19 welcomes new Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa

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Hong Kong: Platforms must not share user data with authorities
09.07.2020 3 min read

Hong Kong: Platforms must not share user data with authorities

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Brazil: ‘Fake news’ law threatens freedom of expression
03.07.2020 3 min read

Brazil: ‘Fake news’ law threatens freedom of expression

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Indonesia: Open letter to KOMINFO requesting strong user privacy protections for contact tracing app
26.06.2020 1 min read

Indonesia: Open letter to KOMINFO requesting strong user privacy protections for contact tracing app

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ARTICLE 19 is launching #EyesOnExpression, curated by our Media Editor
25.06.2020 1 min read

ARTICLE 19 is launching #EyesOnExpression, curated by our Media Editor

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US: Protect Open Technology Fund and protect the open Internet
18.06.2020 2 min read

US: Protect Open Technology Fund and protect the open Internet

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US: Concrete action needed to end discriminatory violations of free expression
11.06.2020 15 min read

US: Concrete action needed to end discriminatory violations of free expression

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