Privacy Matters

To be free and equal

Privacy has become all the more essential in the age of data exploitation. The way data and technology are now deployed means that our privacy is under increased threat  and on a scale that we couldn’t have imagined 20 years ago, outside of science fiction – the ways in which we can be tracked and identified have exploded, alongside the types and scale of information available about us.

Privacy is having the choice – it is the right to decide who we tell what, to establish boundaries, to limit who has access to our bodies, places and things, as well as our communications and our information. It allows us to negotiate who we are and how we want to interact with the world around us, and to define those relationships on our own terms. 

Privacy is how we seek to protect ourselves and society against arbitrary and unjustified use of power, by controlling what can be known about us and done to us, while protecting us from those who aim to exert control over our data, and ultimately all aspects of our lives.

Privacy is foundational to who we are as human beings, and every day it helps us define our relationships with the outside world. It gives us space to be ourselves free of judgement, and allows us to think freely without discrimination. It gives us the freedom of autonomy, and to live in dignity. 

In addition to all of the above, privacy is a right that as such also enables our enjoyment of other rights, and interference with our privacy often provides the gateway to the violation of the rest of our rights. 

Starting on International Human Rights Day and for the next 30 weeks, we will be looking at stories of abuse through the lens of privacy, highlighting privacy’s key role in their occurrence. The first round of stories will be thematically following the 30 fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

 

Privacy matters because...

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Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

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Everyone has the right to work in just and favourable conditions and be free to choose your work with a salary that allows you to live and support family. Everyone should receive equal pay for equal work.

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Society should help individuals to freely develop and support them in reaching their full potential.

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Everyone has the right to take part in their country’s political affairs and equal access to public service. Governments should be voted for regularly.

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You have the right to organize and participate in peaceful meetings.

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Everyone has the right to think and say what they like and no one should forbid it.

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Everyone has the right to freely manifest their religion, to change it and to practice it alone or with others.

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Everyone has the right to marry when they are legally able regardless of their race, nationality or religion. Families should be protected by the Government and the justice system.

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You have the right to own things. No one has the right to illegally take them from you.

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You have the right to belong to a country and have a nationality.

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If you are persecuted at home, you have the right to seek protection in another country.

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You have the right to leave or move within your own country and you should be able to return.

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You have right to decide freely and responsibly without coercion and violence the number, spacing and timing of children you may have and to have the information and means to do so, and the right to attain the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health.

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You are considered innocent until it can be proved you are guilty according to law. If accused of a crime you have the right to a defence.

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Trials should be public and tried in a fair manner by an impartial and independent tribunal.

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Trials should be public and tried in a fair manner by an impartial and independent tribunal.

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You have the right to obtain legal help and access the justice system when your rights are not respected.

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The law is the same for everyone and should be applied in the same manner to all.

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You should be legally protected in the same way everywhere like anyone else.

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No one has the right to treat you as a slave nor should you enslave anyone.

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Everyone has the right to life and to live freely and safety.

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No one has the right to torture you.

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Everyone can claim their rights regardless of sex, race, language, religion, social standing, etc.

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All human beings are born free and equal and should be treated the same way.