Geneva, 17 September 2014 - The relationship between the Internet and Human Rights, as well as the issues it raises, constituted the main issue of a side event organised by our Institute during the 27th session of the Human Rights Council.

During the discussion, which was moderated by Ms. Margaux Scherrer, Project Manager at the IIPJHR, the panel analyzed the opportunities as well as the challenges of the Internet in terms of Human Rights.

Ms. Dixie Hawtin, Project Manager on Human Rights and Internet Policy at Global Partners Digital, emphasized the role of the Internet as a central element of freedom of expression. She identified the potential Human Rights concerns related to the Internet, such as privacy, control and surveillance.

Dr. Federico Pigni, Associate Professor and Director of the Global Tech program at Grenoble Ecole de Management, highlighted the importance of the information revolution catalyzed by the Internet and analyzed the increasing opportunities resulting from growing processing power, storage capacity and connexion of different devices. He also added that the velocity, variety and volume of data is becoming more and more important.

Mr. Christian-François Viala, CEO at Yes Profile, also discussed the increasing velocity, variety and volume of data, and the challenges related to the veracity and the value of information. This is especially the case when it comes to the use of big data. Mr Viala insisted that it is necessary for individuals to regain control of their own information for monetarization  purposes, which is precisely the ambition of Yes Profile. Through this online platform, users can choose which type of personal information they wish to disclose and to which compagny they wish to rent it.

The Institute will follow up on this issue with a side event dedicated to the protection of personal data in March 2015 during the 28th session of the Human Rights Council.