HUMAN RIGHTS, BIG DATA AND TECHNOLOGY PROJECT

Participation in a Project Led by the University of Essex’s Human Rights Centre

Started in May 2016

We are a partner of the Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project (HRBDT) housed at the University of Essex’s Human Rights Centre.

This five years project aims to map and analyse the human rights challenges and opportunities presented by the use of big data and associated technologies. It notably examines whether fundamental human rights concepts and approaches need to be updated and adapted to meet the new realities of the digital age.

By bringing together academics and experts from the human rights field, the United Nations (UN), technology and Internet industries, the project intends to develop good practice guidelines and to propose rights-based regulatory responses and remedies to ensure effective human rights enjoyment and protection.

Focus on Regulation of State and Non-State Actors in the Use of Big Data Technology

Our participation in the project focuses, via academic research, on issues related to regulation of state and non-state actors in the use of big data and technology. We particularly analyse whether existing regulatory frameworks and mechanisms – like the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – are apt to regulate big data and associated technologies while ensuring human rights protection. Drawing from existing regulation theories, the research intends to highlight alternative regulatory approaches that could be used to inform or update current legislation.

Support to Outreach Activities in Geneva

We also provide support for the project’s outreach activities in Geneva with UN human rights mechanisms, diplomats, academics and practitioners via public events, expert meetings and consultations.

OUTPUT

May 2018: Geneva Conference on Human Rights in the Digital Age

On 24 May 2018, The Human Rights, Big Data and Technology (HRBDT) Project, based at the Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex, held a full day conference at the Geneva Academy of Humanitarian Law and Human Rights in Geneva. The conference, titled Human Rights in a Digital Age, brought together academics, civil society, diplomats, representatives from international organisations, and legal practitioners to discuss three major topics: (1) the advancement of human rights in the digital age; (2) the risks and challenge to human rights in the digital age; and (3) responses to these risks and challenges and the development of human rights frameworks in the digital age. A short summary of the event is available here.

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