Safeguarding human rights online
The Council of Europe works with its 47 member states, the private sector, civil society and other actors to shape an Internet based on human rights, democracy and the rule of law. It aims to ensure that the Internet provides a safe and open environment where freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, diversity, culture, education and knowledge can flourish.
To achieve this goal, the organisation has created international conventions in fields such as cybercrime, personal data protection and the protection of children. It also develops model legislation – via recommendations to its member states – and guidelines for private sector Internet actors.
The key pillar for the protection of human rights online is the European Convention on Human Rights. The European Court of Human Rights, which rules on applications alleging violations of the Convention, has already delivered landmark judgments concerning the online environment, in particular in connection to the right to freedom of expression and to access to information, and the right to privacy.
In a joint statement the Chair of the Council of Europe’s data protection “Convention 108” committee, Alessandra Pierucci, and the Council of Europe’s Data Protection Commissioner, Jean-Philippe Walter, have warned of the possible side effects of digital contact tracing applications used to help...
The Council of Europe today called on its 47 member States to take a precautionary approach to the development and use of algorithmic systems and adopt legislation, policies and practices that fully respect human rights. In a Recommendation on the human rights impacts of algorithmic systems, the...
Imagine you find yourself in a world of infinite possibilities, a world with new friends to be found, new games to play and new ideas to explore. But how can you be sure you’re safe, how can you trust people you can't see, how do you know what you're learning is true? How can the Internet be...
Human Rights of Internet Users
The Council of Europe has created a guide for Internet users to help them better understand their human rights online and what they can do when these rights are challenged.
Generally, these rights are set out in the terms of service of Internet companies, which are mostly lengthy legal contractual conditions which are seldom read and even more seldom fully understood.
- The Internet, a public service accessible by everyone
- Protecting freedom of expression and information
- Personal data protection and privacy
- Council of Europe action against cybercrime
- Children and the Internet: Protection and participation
- Internet content and equality between men and women
- Medicines on the web - Risks and benefits
- Human Rights guidelines for Internet service providers and online games designers and publishers