Surveillance and Human Rights

Analysis of key human rights concerns relating to security, discrimination and societal implications of surveillance and examination of existing national regulatory responses.

This focus area assesses the human rights impact of the use of big data and associated technologies for surveillance in the context of security, discrimination and broader societal implications. Following from this, our research also considers the extent to which existing privacy and data protection guarantees at the national level protect against, or enable, potential infringements of human rights. The extent and adequacy of regulatory regimes in the USA, the United Kingdom, Germany, Brazil and India will be assessed.

Both components of our research question whether the collection and use of data necessitates a reconceptualisation of privacy, and a rethinking of broader human rights protections. Analysis of disparate national contexts will inform, and be situated against, overarching themes developing across the Project.


Submission to the UK Home Affairs Committee

Policing for the Future: Changing Demands and New Challenges Inquiry

The Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project

Critically Assessing Digital Documents: Materiality and the Interpretative Role of Software

Information, Communication & Society (2017)

James Allen-Robertson

Regulation of Big Data Surveillance by Police and Intelligence Agencies

Regulation of Big Data Surveillance by Police and Intelligence Agencies

Carly Nyst

Response to IPCO Invitation for Submissions on Issues Relevant to the Proportionality of Bulk Powers

Written submission by Daragh Murray, Pete Fussey and Maurice Sunkin


  • Feb022016

    After Paris, it’s traditional detective work that will keep us safe, not mass surveillance

    Published on The Conversation on 19 November 2015.  Before the dust has even settled from the attacks on Paris, familiar…

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Our Partners

Queen Mary University of London
University of Cambridge
Eye Witness Media
FXB Center for Health & Human Rights
Human Rights Data Analysis Group
Universal Rights Group
World Health Organisation
Geneva Academy