In the digital age, the processing of personal data offers undeniable opportunities for economic growth, social advancement and research. It can also, without adequate safeguards, pose risks to the rights of individuals – particularly their right to privacy.
The processing of personal data is regulated by a set of frameworks known as data protection, and over 100 countries around the world now have data protection legislation. However, the extent of coverage varies greatly. At the same time, the fragile balance which the original data protection principles sought to preserve – allowing free flow of data while also preserving user rights – is being tested by technological developments which have radically increased the scale and depth of personal data processing.
That’s where this guide comes in. Travel Guide to the Digital World: Data protection for human rights defenders offers a comprehensive and accessible introduction to the world of data protection, explaining the history of personal data processing, the key debates, why they relate to human rights, and where – and how – you can engage.