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Privacy in a Human Rights and Social Justice Context


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A presentation at the 'Information Privacy, Security and Forensics in the Digital Age' Symposium - a National Library of Wales / Aberystwyth University event 6th September 2012
Discourse on the public and private spheres in the digital age has aroused much critical commentary and has occasioned a revisioning of the meaning of public and private in the realm of information. Developments in on-line communication and commerce have popularised this debate and the question of what information is, or should be, public and private, is one which reflects the complexity and interconnectivity of personal and public personas.

In exploring the perceived potential for transparency and accountability, finding the balance between consumerism and control, collaboration and cyber security, and in developing communities of trust whilst being mindful of compliance and continuous enforcement is a challenge which benefits from interdisciplinary approaches. This symposium explores the boundaries of public and private in the digital ecology and includes contributions from a diverse range of fields: forensics, security, law, information and archival science, and social and mobile media.

There has been unprecedented activity in this area in the second decade of this millennium, culminating in a proclamation by the United Nations on access to the Internet as a human right, the deliberations of the Leveson Enquiry regarding press standards and surveillance culture and EU e-privacy and data protection reform, to name a few.

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Privacy in a Human Rights and Social Justice Context

  1. 1. Privacy in a Human Rights and Social Justice Context Privacy, Security and Forensics in the Digital Age NLW/AU event 6th September 2012
  2. 2. Digital Ecology
  3. 3. What is meant by Privacy?The right to be let alone. (Brandeis, 1890)Privacy is an interest of the human personality. It protects theinviolate personality, the individuals independence, dignity andintegrity. (Bloustein 1964)The desire of people to choose freely under what circumstances andto what extent they will expose themselves, their attitudes and theirbehaviour to others. (Westin, 1968)The state of desired inaccess or freedom from unwanted access, withaccess meaning perceiving a person with one’s senses (ie seeing,hearing or touching him or her), obtaining physical proximity to him orher and/or obtaining information about him or her. (Gavison 1980,Moreham, 2005)
  4. 4. Types of Privacy Information privacy Bodily privacy Privacy of communication Territorial privacy
  5. 5. Why is privacy important? Privacy as the right to be let alone – “a man’s home is his castle” Privacy as an aspect of personhood Privacy as control over information Privacy as limited access to the self Privacy as secrecy Privacy as a social and political value
  6. 6. Privacy & Data Protection – Twins but not identical Privacy covers issues relating to the protection of an individual’s personal space – covering issues such as private communication, unwarranted investigation, physical integrity, protection of family life etc. Data protection– To organise and control the way personal data are processed. Focuses on the informational rather than spatial or physical dimensions of privacy. Right of information self- determination – the right to have a say in how data relating to oneself are processed by others.
  7. 7. Relevant Legislation: InternationalCustomary International Law Universal Declaration of Human Rights – Article 12 No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour or reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.Treaties and Covenants International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966 - Article 17 1. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honour and reputation. 2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
  8. 8. Relevant Legislation: Regional American Convention on Human Rights Article 11. Right to Privacy 1. Everyone has the right to have his honor respected and his dignity recognized. 2. No one may be the object of arbitrary or abusive interference with his private life, his family, his home, or his correspondence, or of unlawful attacks on his honor or reputation. 3. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks. European Convention of Human Rights – Article 8 Right to respect for private and family life 1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence. 2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
  9. 9. Relevant Legislation – Data Protection Data Protection Directive 95/46 EC - was adopted in 1995 with two objectives in mind:  to protect the fundamental right to data protection and  to guarantee the free flow of personal data between Member States. New draft European Data Protection regulation released 25 Jan 2012 – harmonisation of laws on data protection. One single European Law
  10. 10. State/Government threats to Privacy Expansion of government online surveillance powers - threat to the individual’s right to privacy? USA- Stop Online Privacy Act, Protect IP Act, Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement IP Charter EU – Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, Council of Europe’s Convention on Cyber crime Australia – Cybercrime Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 Egypt/Syria – Arab Spring Access to Internet as basic human right – Frank La Rue UN Report
  11. 11. Business Threats to PrivacyInformational PrivacyInformation Management/ PassiveGovernance Sense Making Digital Footprints Digital Exhaust Active Data Mining Data Analytics Computer Assisted Review
  12. 12. GNI: leadinginformation andcommunicationcompanies,major HRorganisations,academics,investors andtechnologyleaders
  13. 13. #11 DPProtection of PersonaldataObligations of datacollectorsMinimum Standards onUse of Personal DataMonitoring byIndependent DataProtection Authorities
  14. 14. STAKEHOLDERS Pluricentric (not unicentric) networks (inter- or intraorganisational the processes of governing or functions specific risks and uncertainties normative Van Kersbergen and Van Waarden 2004,
  15. 15. Spectrum not Dichotomy Individual autonomy  Law enforcement Empowering  Cybercrime; network security; child crime, ID theft; access classified information; hate speech Non-disclosure  Sharing
  16. 16. Spectrum not Dichotomy Open government  Closed government FoI  DP Rights of the  Profit-driven data Individual demands Private sector-led  Government self regulation regulation Soft law  Hard law Global  Regional Minimum standard  Beyond national standards Rights , duties  Responsibilities
  17. 17. Contact details Kirsten Ferguson-Boucher Department of Information Studies, Sofia Cavandoli Department of Law and Criminology