DPAs support UN resolution on privacy

The International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners (ICDPPC) announced on 9th April their support for a UN Human Rights Council Resolution titled: “The right to privacy in the digital age” which was adopted on 28th March.

The resolution includes a decision to appoint a rapporteur for three years on the right to privacy whose tasks include:

“To gather relevant information, including on international and national frameworks, national practices and experience, to study trends, developments and challenges in relation to the right to privacy and to make recommendations to ensure its promotion and protection, including in connection with the challenges arising from new technologies.”

The ICDPPC Chair, John Edwards, New Zealand’s Privacy Commissioner, hailed this as a historic step and added:

“Data Protection and Privacy Authorities everywhere welcome the United Nations taking a lead in seeking to ensure the promotion and protection of privacy, especially given the challenges posed by new technologies.

The Conference has repeatedly resolved to encourage and support international efforts to better protect privacy and stands ready to cooperate fully with the Special Rapporteur to complete the mandate assigned by the UN.”

Blair Stewart for the ICDPPC Secretariat responded to questions from Privacy Laws & Business:

1. To what extent was the International Conference of Privacy and Data Protection Commissioners consulted on the wording of this UN resolution?

“The ICDPPC was not consulted on the wording of the UN HRC resolution. As an international governmental organisation the member governments would have been consulted and some of those may have consulted their national DPAs.”

2. Do the Privacy and Data Protection Commissioners have any reservations about the formulation of the text? If so, what are they?

“There is no single ICDPPC position on that level of detail. The only position we have is a willingness to engage and the several past resolutions on international issues.”

3. Do you know who is on the short list for the appointment of the UN Rapporteur?