National Human Rights Institution participates in international conference in Egypt

CAIRO, A delegation from the National Human Rights Institution (NHRI), led by Maqsoud Kruse, Chairperson of the NHRI, participated in the “International Conference to Promote the Protection of the Right to Privacy in the Context of Artificial Intelligence Challenges”, held recently in Egypt.

The event was attended by representatives of national human rights institutions, legal experts, communications technology, media and human rights from 23 countries, along with representatives of executive, legislative and judicial authorities, and leaders of 32 non-governmental human rights organisations in 16 Arab and seven European countries.

The conference was organised by the Arab Organisation for Human Rights and the Standing High Commission on Human Rights in Cairo.

It addressed the challenges of protecting the right to privacy in light of the developments of artificial intelligence, as one of the most critical issues to the human rights movement and jurists worldwide. The challenges were addressed given the significant impact of the telecommunications technology revolution and the artificial intelligence development on violating private life.

Maqsoud Kruse, Chairperson of the NHRI, chaired the closing session of the conference, which was devoted to discussing “public debate on ways to the future”, with the participation of Dr. Hassan Badrawi, former Assistant Minister of Justice for Legislation; and Dr. Majid Osman, former Egyptian Minister of Communications.

The session touched on future solutions and perceptions to address the effects of information and technological development on the protection of privacy, the need to review legislation and establish legal frameworks to ensure the protection of users of communication technology, their data, and their browsing in full safety.

The session also highlighted the importance of establishing joint international cooperation between human rights organisations, research and intellectual centres, and relevant institutions to maintain a secure digital environment.

Kruse said that the conference witnessed six-panel discussions, focusing primarily on the challenges of realising the right to privacy in light of the technological development, how the breach of the right to privacy affects the activation of other human rights, legal and social challenges of artificial intelligence, the responsibility of the state and private companies to protect information, as well as measures to protect privacy.

“The negative effects of the misuse of communication technology and artificial intelligence have become a major threat to some aspects of fundamental human rights and public freedoms, especially given the superiority of institutional and professional entities in developing what helps them violate the privacy of individuals for various motives, such as marketing based on disclosure of information and data, analysis of tendencies and patterns of personal and consumer behaviours, as opposed to the weak capacity of individuals,” Kruse said.

He added, “Ordinary people avoid sources of privacy, and expose themselves to violations of the sanctity of private life and the confidentiality of correspondence and interactions.”

“The discussions have not ignored the enormous positives that communication technology and artificial intelligence have achieved and continue to achieve, both in terms of helping them improve the situation of human beings, increasing cultural, scientific and educational development, and in turn bridging the gap of convergence and communication between peoples and cultures, facilitating access to information and access to their sources, helping to spread a culture of human rights among the entire public.

“There is no limit to exposing illegal practices such as corruption, the culture of exclusion, and the speed of access for perpetrators to achieve successful justice,” he said.

Kruse added, “There must be community agreement to address the effects of the rapid development of communication technology and artificial intelligence on the right to privacy, by unifying legislative efforts, and defining the responsibilities of states, private sector institutions, civil society organisations and individuals, to ensure the protection of human rights in the context of the use of artificial intelligence.”

Following the conference, the National Human Rights Institution took part as an observer in the 11th meeting of the regular session of the General Assembly of the Arab Human Rights Organisation, which was held in Cairo on 23rd-24th July, to review the literary and financial reports of the organisation’s outgoing Board of Trustees (November 2018 to July 2022) and to hold elections by direct secret ballot to elect 20 members of the new Board of Trustees from 26 candidates.

Source: Emirates News Agency