EISSN 2532-3474 - ISSN 2532-649X - Padova University Press

The Challenges of New Technologies in the Implementation of Human Rights: an Analysis of Some Critical Issues in the Digital Era

TitleThe Challenges of New Technologies in the Implementation of Human Rights: an Analysis of Some Critical Issues in the Digital Era
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsCoccoli, J.
Secondary TitlePeace Human Rights Governance
Date Published07/2017
PublisherPadova University Press
Place PublishedPadova, IT
ISSN Number2532-3474
Keywordsdigitalization, Human Rights, ICT, international law, internet, technologies

The same rights that people have offline must also be protected online. As humanity experiences transition online, so do human rights. In many cases, technology has represented a way to strengthen human rights. For example, it allows individuals to exercise their freedom of expression thanks to the introduction of unknown forms of communication. But technology also means that individuals’ human rights are exposed to unprecedented risks, caused by the transition of these rights to the digital field. The same freedom of expression enhanced by new technologies is nowadays frequently frustrated by filtering and/or blocking content and even disconnecting access to technologies. Nonetheless, the process of transitioning human rights online is not only focused on freedom of expression, but involves many other human rights. The right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty is one of the most challenged human right in the online sphere. It’s put at risk by ongoing practices of data collection for surveillance purposes without prior suspicion. New technologies have penetrated so deeply in the present legal environment that they not only introduced new ways of approaching to traditional human rights, but also produced new rights and freedoms, which are surely intended to evolve in a constitutional direction and require further regulations by governments. This paper aims to contribute to the discussion on the transformations that the use of new technologies is intended to determine from a legal perspective and it will clearly show how nowadays it’s crucial to reinterpret the principles of indivisibility and interdependence of human rights in the light of digital innovations experienced by society.