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Clear Red Lines, Stronger Safeguards Needed

(Brussels) – The European Union’s plan to regulate artificial intelligence is ill-equipped to protect people from flawed algorithms that deprive them of lifesaving benefits and discriminate against vulnerable populations, Human Rights Watch said in…
EU Media Conference on Artificial Intelligence
Report
Summary As the harmful effects of immigration detention become more widely known and the appropriateness of detaining migrants is increasingly questioned, governments are looking at alternatives to detention as more humane and rights-respecting…
News

Governments Should Halt Trade in Surveillance Technology

(New York) – Recent reports that NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware has been used for surveillance of dozens of journalists, human rights activists, and others demonstrate the urgent need for governments to suspend the trade in surveillance technology until…
People march in Budapest, Hungary during a July 26, 2021 protest against the Hungarian government over reports that it has used Pegasus spyware.
News

Police Handed Enhanced Powers to Infiltrate Phones and Computers

The German parliament amended two laws on June 10th granting enhanced surveillance powers to segments of the federal police and intelligence services. They allow the use of spyware to hack into phones and computers circumventing encryption used by…
The logo of the messenger app Whatsapp is seen on the screen of a smartphone on April 28th, 2021 in Berlin, Germany.
News

Government Should End Restrictions on Free Expression

The Nigerian government’s decision to ban Twitter and prosecute those who continue using the platform is a blatant and unjustified restriction on civic space and people’s right to information through social media. The government said its decision,…
Newspaper headline Twitter Banned in Nigeria
News

Updated Regulations Aim to Restrict Sales to Abusive Governments

(Brussels) – The improvements to the European Union’s export controls rules on surveillance technology are so fragile that only rigorous efforts to carry them out will prevent EU technology from landing in the hands of abusive governments, Human…
European lawmakers stand up during a signing ceremony at the European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium, March 10, 2021. 
News

Privacy, Non-Discrimination, and Social Security Safeguards Needed

The last decade has seen an alarming proliferation of artificial intelligence (“AI”) to monitor protests, predict crime, and profile minorities, in ways that gravely threaten our human rights. The European Commission has pledged to develop…
European Union flags are waving in front of the headquarters of the European Commission in Brussels. August 5, 2020.
News
Graduating into a global pandemic was never going to be easy. But for some in the high school class of COVID-19, their academic futures were further jeopardized by a predictive algorithm that assigned them final grades without explanation or means…
Students walk along a corridor at a school for girls in the U.K. that offers the International Baccalaureate program.
News

Member States Should Put Rights Ahead of Profits

(Brussels) – The European Union should adopt stronger regulations to prevent cyber surveillance technology developed in Europe from being sold to repressive governments,  Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the European Union together…
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News

Proposal Would Criminalize Criticism of Government

Nigerian campaigners are speaking out against a bill that would regulate engagement on social media with the campaign #SayNoToSocialMediaBill. The Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulation Bill 2019 was presented in the Senate…
Two men check their phones in Kaduna, Nigeria
News
If you’re worried about how facial recognition technology is being used, you should be. And things are about to get a lot scarier unless new regulation is put in place. Already, this technology is being used in many U.S. cities and…
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News

New International Law Is Essential to Retain Human Control Over Use of Force

(New York) – France, Germany, and other nations that are committed to a rules-based international order should begin negotiations on a new international treaty to ban preemptively lethal autonomous weapons systems, also known as fully autonomous…
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News
(Berlin) – Germany should cooperate with like-minded countries to open negotiations on a new treaty to prohibit weapons systems that would select and attack targets without human intervention, Human Rights Watch said today. Germany’s foreign…
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News

Tech Company Should Disclose Business Dealings with Turkmen Government

(Berlin) – German technology companies should publicly disclose whether they are considering sales to the Turkmenistan government, Human Rights Watch said today. They should also reveal what steps they have taken to assess whether any technology…
A screen showing a portrait of Turkmen President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov inside the terminal of the newly built airport in Ashgabat
News

Questions and Answers

Comprehensive data protection laws are essential for protecting human rights – most obviously, the right to privacy, but also many related freedoms that depend on our ability to make choices about how and with whom we share information about ourselves.…
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