Privacy International launches series on surveillance in the provision of social services

The day before the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights presented his annual report to the UN General Assembly in New York on digital technology, social protection and human rights, Privacy International announced the launch of its own series on surveillance in the provision of social services. According to the privacy group, “corporate, governmental, and institutional actors are increasingly converging to apply surveillance and data exploitation tools to social benefits systems, which too often furthers the interest of those with wealth and power to the detriment of people in vulnerable situations, who ought to be empowered by social benefits systems”. This new framework builds on concerns raised by many civil society, social justice and human rights organisations worldwide about the impact of automated decision-making and the digitization of social protection systems on human rights.