Information and Networks Working Paper: Aiding surveillance

December 01, 2014
Gus Hosein and Carly Nyst
Information technology transfer is increasingly a key component of development and humanitarian aid initiatives. With social protection programs now incorporating digitized management information systems and electronic transfers, registration and electoral systems deploying biometric technologies, and the explosion in mobile phone use and easy access to more data, these technologies are being drafted in support of security and rule of law efforts. Many of these programs and technologies involve the surveillance of individuals, groups, and entire populations. The collection and use of personal information in these development and aid initiatives is without precedent, and is subject to few legal safeguards.
In this Working Paper, Gus Hosein and Carly Nyst of Privacy International show that as development and humanitarian donors and agencies rush to adopt new technologies that facilitate surveillance, they may be creating and supporting systems that pose serious threats to individuals’ human rights, particularly their right to privacy.
Read the Working Paper 2014/1 Aiding surveillance: An exploration of how development and humanitarian aid initiatives are enabling surveillance in developing countries. (PDF, 715KB)
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