Counterterrorism should not supersede privacy: UN report

Last Updated: Thursday, January 21, 2010 - 09:07

New York: Counterterrorism practices such as racial profiling, creation of privacy-intrusive databases and using employed in the fight against terrorism violate human rights, a UN report said on Wednesday.
The study also finds that the fight against terrorism does not always supersede privacy and underlined the need to uphold the right to privacy and data protection.

"The current wave of privacy-intrusive measures in the name of countering terrorism should be countered through a global declaration on data protection and data privacy," Martin Scheinin, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and counterterrorism, said in the report.

The report finds that states have endangered the protection of the right to privacy by not extending pre-existing safeguards in their cooperation with third countries and private actors.

"These measures have not only led to violations of the right to privacy, but also have an impact on due process rights and the freedom of movement, especially at borders, and can have a chilling effect on the freedom of association and the freedom of expression," the report says.

The report concludes that states no longer limit exceptional surveillance schemes to combating but use them for a wide range of purposes and expressed concern that "surveillance is now ingrained in policymaking."


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First Published: Thursday, January 21, 2010 - 09:07

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