Privacy and Data Protection

Privacy is an internationally recognised human right, enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the constitutions of more than 100 countries across the globe. Privacy is not only an important right in itself, but it is a key element of individual autonomy and dignity, and a strong enabler of political, spiritual, religious and even sexual freedoms. It is central to defining the relationship between a citizen and their government. Concrete expressions of the right to privacy are context specific, and may reflect cultural and societal differences.

The right to privacy encapsulates a right to protection of personal data: individuals have the right to decide whether to share or exchange their personal information and on what terms. Technologies are rapidly changing the nature and value of information, with huge volumes of personal data rapidly generated, transmitted, shared and collated. It is essential that governments are transparent and accountable in their handling of citizens’ personal information.