There are several factors, some legal, some political and some economic, that continue to impact the exercise of rights online in Zimbabwe, particularly free expression, the right to privacy and access to information.
We want people, especially those facing discrimination and oppression, to have greater power and autonomy through digital technologies to exercise their full range of human rights online and offline. Check out our achievements in this area in 2021.
In Indonesia, a rise in hard-line approaches to governance is heralding looming authoritarianism. The COVID-19 pandemic has provided the government there with the opportunity to further accelerate digital authoritarianism through online surveillance, censorship and online manipulation.
Namibia has become the latest African country to introduce mandatory SIM card registration and data retention regulations that will have a far-reaching impact on online privacy and data protection in the country.
Australia adopted a range of technology-based responses to address the COVID-19 pandemic, but this approach resulted in “solutions” that ranged from the outright ineffective to the actively punitive.
Recent instances of the use of state surveillance apparatus for repressive purposes and prosecutions, compounded by a lack of data and online privacy protections and low internet penetration and usage, have heightened fears that the country is regressing in terms of safeguarding online rights.
Governments around the world have resorted to apps to restrict freedom of movement for the unvaccinated as part of their COVID-19 response. Some argue that the use of such tools drives up vaccination rates, but sceptics point out that these tools pose risks to privacy and digital security.
The security and privacy practices of technology companies such as Facebook have once again come under fire from organisations that denounce these companies’ failure to meet international standards for the protection of human rights.
The draft bill would have enabled surveillance abuse and privacy violations. The pressure that was brought to bear by various human and media rights organisations, and the international spotlight that it attracted, paid off and the bill was withdrawn and amended.
The push for digitisation during the pandemic – whether for health management or to keep daily activities going amid lockdowns – deepened the digital divide in India, since escalated digital adoption without adequate policy protections can exclude the already marginalised even more.