Information & Communication Technology

No Trade Off - How the Free Flow of Data Enhances Trade and Human Rights

20 July 2016

This IHRB report provides an overview of the connections between trade and human rights and the importance of data flows in this context, as well as current threats and obstacles to cross border trade and the free flow of information. 

Background

In recent years, governments have deployed several legislative and regulatory measures aimed at prohibiting the use of certain technologies or applications, blocking website content, and requiring data to reside on local servers - all as a means of controlling and impeding information flows. These restrictions are imposed, at times, with a view to  protecting national security or national interests. Such restrictions may not only curb privacy as well as other human rights, but also limit legitimate economic activity, including cross border trade. 

Message

Cross border data flows are integral to international trade transactions, which increasingly rely on information exchange, electronic payments, and cloud storage. Restrictions on the free flow of  information not only hinder economic growth; they can also lead to adverse human rights impacts. 

Find Out More

This report examines six areas in which government-imposed restrictions on the free flow of information could impact negatively on trade and human rights, and provides recommendations to governments legislating in often sensitive areas including:

  • Data localisation
  • Encryption
  • Content censorship through filtering/blocking
  • User registration requirements
  • Connectivity and Access
  • Restrictions on cross border data flows

Latest IHRB Publications

Significant Progress in Protecting the Rights of Migrant Construction Workers in Qatar

The construction industry in Qatar is an important part of the country’s economic development and will remain so for the foreseeable future. The sector relies on migrant workers who everywhere in the world are vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.

...

A Year of Growing Momentum to Protect Migrant Rights in Southeast Asia

Today, International Migrants Day, 18 December 2017, is a timely moment to review recent efforts in Southeast Asia on labour migration governance, ethical recruitment, and protection of migrant workers’ rights, particularly in the context of supply...

Realising Ethical Recruitment by Remediating Worker-Paid Recruitment Fees

At the end of November 2017, droves of company executives, human rights specialists, and diplomats from around the world will travel to Geneva to attend the UN Forum for Business and Human Rights. The theme of the conference this year is “Realizing...

20 November 2017

Commentary by Nikhil Eapen, India Director, Equidem Research

There are currently no Statements related to Information & Communication Technology