UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL - 51TH SESSION

Interactive dialogue on OHCHR report on privacy

Statement delivered by H.E. Lars Tummers, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Thank you Mr. President,

Madam Acting High Commissioner,

The Kingdom of the Netherlands aligns itself with the EU statement.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands expresses its concern regarding the threats to privacy in the digital age, as depicted in your report. The right to privacy is essential for the enjoyment of a wide range of fundamental human rights, including, inter alia, freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of association and assembly, or freedom of religion or belief.

Furthermore, the Kingdom of the Netherlands recognizes that human rights apply equally online as they do offline, and stresses the importance of safe digital communication, including strong encryption, for the enjoyment of human rights, especially for marginalized groups. States should, therefore, ensure that interferences with the right to privacy only occur in cases wherein such interference is legitimate, necessary, proportionate and complies with international human rights law.

Madam Acting High Commissioner,

Your Office’s report, underlines that adequate applicable legal frameworks for data privacy, public surveillance and other technologies, techniques and tools that may challenge the right to privacy are largely missing. What, according to you, are the barriers keeping States from successfully drafting and implementing sound legislative frameworks regarding hacking, encryption and surveillance, to prevent further global deterioration of the right to privacy in the digital age?