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Geneva – 3 February 2015: The Institute hosted Mr. Christian-François Viala, digital marketing specialist and founder of Yes Profile for a workshop entitled "Internet: Human Rights and personal data".

Being one of the important axes of reflection for the Institute, the team wanted to examine the issue further by focusing on the personal data that users permanently leave online, consciously or not. Indeed, the free access to the Internet has its downside: the exploitation of our tracks and personal data. This personal data is a financial windfall for manufacturers who are not ashamed to store, own, exploit, cross and even monetize it at the expense of the fundamental rights of users and human rights in general. 

Web companies use them and turn them into marketable products, without the user being aware of their contribution to various businesses. Thus, the workshop shed light on this reality and explored the ins and outs of personal data and its uses. However, as the awareness of users is increasing, both private and public initiatives are emerging. National data protection agencies are taking the matter into hands using the law and collaborating with private actors as Yes Profile.

"Yes Profile aims to create tools so that individuals can control, protect and monetize their personal data, and for companies to communicate with a qualified target and volunteer in one to one. One of the priority issues in the short term, with the institute, is to better define a personal data by classifying the different categories and criteria. This is important work that was never done" said Mr. Viala.

The IIPJHR wants to bring these issues up for debate at the United Nations Human Rights Council and will organize a side-event in March 2015 during the 28th session of the Council.

In the meantime, the Institute warmly thanks Mr. Viala for his precious collaboration.