[governance] draft privacy submission for IGF consultations

Ralf Bendrath bendrath at zedat.fu-berlin.de
Mon Jan 30 18:41:20 EST 2006

Hi all,

the Privacy&Security WG will also submit some suggestions to the IGF 
consultations. We are still finalizing the latest draft, but you find a 
copy of the current version below. Feedback is welcome, of course.

Best, Ralf


WSIS Civil Society
Privacy and Security Working Group

31 January 2006

A Global Privacy Forum for a Global Privacy Protection Framework

Submission to the Internet Governance Forum Consultations

As more and more social interaction – be it for business, culture,
leisure, or political activities – takes place online, we leave more and
more electronic traces. Every transaction, every communication, every
movement we make on the Internet has the form of data flows. This is why
the technical structures of the Internet as well as its governance have to
be designed in a privacy-enhancing way. Only if everyone can use the
Internet freely without fear of constant observation, recording and
monitoring, it can become an infrastructure that leads to a
“people-centred, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society”
that we all envision as the overarching goal of the WSIS and its
follow-up. Only then, we can make sure that Article 12 of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights is fully upheld and respected as the most
important international human rights standard with regards to privacy.

We reiterate that paragraph 46 the Tunis Agenda calls “upon all
stakeholders to ensure respect for privacy and the protection of personal
information and data, whether via adoption of legislation, the
implementation of collaborative frameworks, best practices and
self-regulatory and technological measures by business and users.”

While self-regulatory and technological measures are important, there
needs to be an internationally agreed and binding framework for privacy
protection to make sure all measures are substantially coherent and do not
lead to unnecessary conflicts and overlap of national and international
legal and other measures. A global privacy framework is a natural
consequence of the global Internet. This also echoes paragraph 3 of the
Tunis Commitment that aims at strengthening “respect for the rule of law
in international as in national affairs”.

Last year, the world’s data protection and privacy commissioners reached
the same conclusion. We join them in their Montreux Declaration appealing
“to the United Nations to prepare a legal binding instrument which clearly
sets out in detail the rights to data protection and privacy as
enforceable human rights.”

We therefore encourage the conveners of the Internet Governance Forum to
work for an international legal framework that ensures the rights to
privacy and data protection for all citizens within the Information
Society. This echoes commitments taken by the Iberoamerican summit of
Santa Cruz in 2003, the summit of Countries that share French language of
Ouagadougou in 2004, and the Declaration on Human Rights and the Rule of
Law in the Information Society adopted by the Council of Europe in 2005.

More specifically, we support the suggestion of the International Working
Group on Data Protection in Telecommunications, calling for a global
Privacy Forum as a result of the WSIS Summit. It is important now to
seriously follow up on this and establish a Global Privacy Forum - as part
of the Internet Governance Forum – to start working on a substantial
global privacy protection framework.

In order to engage all important stakeholders, we strongly suggest
actively inviting and including the global network of data protection
commissioners and professionals. Important bodies and venues for this would be
- the annual global data protection commissioners’ conference, of which
the next will be hosted by the government of Argentina in November 2006;
- the International Working Group on Data Protection in Telecommunications
(the “Berlin Group”)
- the network of civil society privacy organizations that has mainly
evolved around  Privacy International (PI), the Electronic Privacy
Information Center (EPIC), and European Digital Rights (EDRi);
- the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP);
- specialized working groups of several international organizations,
including OECD, APEC, the Council of Europe, and the Office of the High
Commissioner on Human Rights.

We are more than willing to offer any help in organizing and facilitating
such a Global Privacy Forum and other related activities as part of the
Internet Governance Forum.


The WSIS Civil Society Privacy and Security Working Group was established
in February 2003 and has constantly been involved in the WSIS process
since then. It has more than 30 members from a range of organizations in
the privacy and security field all over the world.

Ralf Bendrath <bendrath at zedat.fu-berlin.de>
Karen Banks <karenb at gn.apc.org>

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