The right to privacy in the world of BIG DATA

The right to privacy in the world of BIG DATA

Is it necessary in the new context to define the boundaries of the concept of "private life", or has it remained unchanged? How to regulate compliance with legal and ethical standards in social media and should it be actually done?

The right to privacy in the world of BIG DATA

Maintaining a private life is a fundamental human right providing for, among other things, the inviolability of the domain of life that lies beyond the interests of the public and the state. As soon as individuals join a social network, sign a user agreement, make public posts, or simply download applications to their phones, they are knowingly or unknowingly deprived of that right. Their opinions and any information about them become publicly accessible, and they become a kind of human media, liable to the laws regulating media. 

This digital alter ego, initially a manifestation of freedom of expression, makes real users vulnerable to manipulation by service providers, the state, and fraudsters. 

How can the state, business and society solve this problem? What conflicts does it create in different countries and regions? There are various approaches: China has a radical solution to these problems in the interests of the state, the USA prioritizes business, while European lawmakers are attempting to strike a balance between state and private interests. In theory, the same laws that apply offline should apply here, but networks are a cross-border phenomenon.

Do the limits of a private life need to be redefined in the new context, or have they remained unchanged? How can compliance with legal and ethical standards on social media be regulated, and is this desirable? Should offline laws be transferred to the online space? These and other issues were discussed by the Chief of Presidential Directorate for the Development of Information and Communication Technology and Communication Infrastructure Tatyana Matveeva, Chief Executive Officer of Rutube Roman Maksimov, Director of the Russian Association for Electronic Communications (RAEC) Sergey Plugotarenko, Director of the "UNESCO Chair in Copyright, Related, Cultural and Information Rights" International Scientific and Educational Center Mikhail Fedotov, Chairman of the Committee on Entrepreneurship in the field of Media Communications in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation Igor Pototsky, Managing Partner of law firm ‘Ashmanov and Partners’ Igor Ashmanov. The discussion was moderated by Andrey Bystritsky, Chairman of the Board of the Foundation for Development and Support of the Valdai International Discussion Club.

“The Internet environment entered human life extremely quickly, capturing all generations. But it is necessary to understand that this is a different space and there is a different interaction. A person certainly has the right to privacy, but digital footprints do not disappear anywhere. Millions of people can see a post on social networks when it is published,”- Tatyana Matveeva, Chair of Presidential Directorate for the Development of ICT and Communication Infrastructure.

“There is confidence that the emergence of new environments did not lead to the fact that the terms ‘privacy’ and ‘personal data protection’ had to be fundamentally revised. This was before these environments did provoke cases, as a result of which both civil society and the state had to react,”- Sergey Plugotarenko, Director of the Russian Association for Electronic Communications (RAEC).

The discussion took place on June 3 at the site of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.


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