The digital age offers unique opportunities to strengthen human rights implementation and monitoring and has transformed the means through which human rights are exercised. Equally, the digital age poses unique challenges in ensuring that states and businesses respect and protect our rights in the digital forum. The full extent of the human rights implications of the digital age remain unknown; we are undertaking research to explore these implications.
Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project
The Geneva Academy is a partner of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)-funded Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project, based at the University of Essex’s Human Rights Centre. HRBDT maps and analyzes the challenges and opportunities presented by the use of technology and big data from a human rights perspective. Drawing on the wide range of expertise of its interdisciplinary researchers, the project considers whether fundamental human rights concepts and approaches need to be adapted to meet the rapidly evolving technological landscape. The work brings together practitioners in the fields of human rights, technology and Internet governance, the United Nations, technology industries and academics, to assess existing regulatory responses and the need for reforms in order to maximize effective human rights enjoyment and protection.
The Right to Privacy in the Digital Age
In 2014, in partnership with the Permanent Missions of Austria, Brazil, Germany, Liechtenstein, Mexico, Norway, and Switzerland, the Geneva Academy hosted the experts meeting ‘The Right to Privacy in the Digital Age’. The meeting was held to: examine the international human rights law framework in relation to the right to privacy, and identify challenges raised by modern communication technologies; foster understanding of how the right to privacy is implemented by governments, as well as the private sector and civil society; examine the extent to which domestic and extraterritorial surveillance may infringe an individual’s right to privacy; and identify ways forward to ensure the protection and promotion of the right to privacy.