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Communication and Information Sector's news service

Global survey on Internet privacy: UNESCO calls for proposals

14-06-2011 (Paris)
UNESCO calls for proposals to conduct a global research aiming to map the current regulatory landscape in Africa, Arab States, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and North America, and Latin America and the Caribbean regarding Internet privacy. The research is also expected to provide an overview of legal protections, self-regulatory guidelines, challenges and cases relating to the topic, in order to create a global snapshot of trends and developments.
The proposed research is to explore various legal and human rights’ implications on people’s privacy, arising from transactions or transmission of data through Internet-based applications, such as search engines, microblogs, social networks, ISPs, etc. The results of the research will inform UNESCO Member States about the existing policies and practices in relation to the privacy on the Internet.

Interested researchers are invited to submit their proposals, including detailed description of the research methodology, deliverables, timeline and requested funding, by email to:
    Ms Xianhong Hu
    UNESCO, Division for Freedom of Expression and Media Development
The deadline of submission is 1 July 2011 (noon, CET).

Since its creation, UNESCO has always placed freedom of expression and freedom of media at the core of its mission. Recognizing that the principle of freedom of expression should also be applied to the Internet, UNESCO has persistently worked on various issues related to this topic. Since 2006, UNESCO has continuously animated discussions on freedom of expression and privacy protection at the annual meetings of WSIS Forum and Internet Governance Forum.

As the increasing popularity of Internet social networking applications raises new challenges to privacy protection and freedom of expression, there is a need to carefully track an expanded range of policies and regulatory issues of the Internet, and explore the relationships between freedom of expression and other key values and rights, particularly privacy protection.

As identified in UNESCO’s biennial programme for 2012-2013, the Communication and Information Programme is engaged to address a wide range of Internet and new ICT-related issues, including the promotion of freedom of expression and privacy protection on Internet.

UNESCO views both freedom of expression and privacy as interdependent, fundamental human rights. The challenge is how to promote freedom of expression without compromising other rights, including privacy, taking into account transnational nature of the Internet.

The concept paper below as well as documents under Related Links can serve as a framework and terms of reference for proposals.
Related themes/countries

      · Ethical Issues of Information Society
      · Freedom of Expression
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