UN special rapporteur on privacy concerned about situation in Ecuador

24 May 2019
The UN Special rapporteur on privacy, Joseph Cannataci, expressed serious concerns after the government of Ecuador indicated its intention to hand over the personal belongings of Julian Assange to US authorities. The Ecuadorian government had decided to seize his documents, telephones, electronic devices, after his arrest in the UK. Cannataci has formally requested twice Ecuador to return Assange’s personal effects to his lawyers.  

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Privacy and data protection are two interrelated Internet governance issues. Data protection is a legal mechanism that ensures privacy. Privacy is usually defined as the right of any citizen to control their own personal information and to decide about it (to disclose information or not). Privacy is a fundamental human right. It is recognised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and in many other international and regional human rights conventions. The July 2015 appointment of the first UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy in the Digital Age reflects the rising importance of privacy in global digital policy, and the recognition of the need to address privacy rights issues the the global, as well as national levels.


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