Purpose of the mandate
Privacy enables the enjoyment of other rights: the free development and expression of an individual’s personality, identity and beliefs, and their ability to participate in political, economic, social and cultural life. The Special Rapporteur is mandated to promote and protect the right to privacy by:
- Reviewing government policies and laws on the interception of digital communications and collection of personal data
- Identifying actions that intrude on privacy without compelling justification
- Assisting governments in developing best practices to bring global surveillance under the rule of law
- Articulating private sector responsibilities to respect human rights
- Helping ensure national procedures and laws are consistent with international human rights obligations
The Special Rapporteur for privacy is increasingly interested in privacy implications in the following areas:
- Mass surveillance
- Using and retaining personal data
- Forensic DNA databases
- Open Data and Big Data
About the mandate
In 2015, the Human Rights Council created the first mandate on privacy in resolution
28/16. It requested the Special Rapporteur to seek credible and reliable information from Governments, non-governmental organisations and any other parties who have knowledge of situations and cases relating to privacy. The mandate was renewed for a period of three years in March 2018 (A/HRC/RES/37/2).
More on the history of this mandate.
Current mandate holder
In July 2021, the Human Rights Council appointed Dr. Ana Brian Nougrères of Uruguay as the Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy and she took up the mandate on 1 August 2021. A Professor of Law, Privacy and ICT at the School of Engineering, University of Montevideo and a Professor of Law, Data Protection and ICT at the School of Law, University of the Republic, Montevideo. She is also a practicing Attorney-at-law and Consultant on data protection. Her latest book, The Uruguayan law system facing security breaches, was published by LA LEY (Spain) in 2021.
Read Dr. Brian Nougrères full biography, in Spanish.
Latest thematic reports
How pandemics can be managed with respect to the right to privacy: The (now former) Special Rapporteur provides a more definitive analysis (building on his GA 2020 report (A/75/147) now that there is greater evidence available to allow a more accurate assessment of the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic. View document
Security and surveillance, health data, and business enterprises use of personal data: This report provides an overview of activities undertaken in 2019, and also provides recommendations for protecting against gender-based privacy infringements.
View report page | View document