International high-level dialogue forum

Shaping a globalised world

Global Governance Spotlight 6|2014

Internet Governance and the Protection of Privacy. Which way forward?

Rolf H. Weber
October 2014; 4 pages


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In view of the tension which exists between information-sharing and the protection of privacy, there is a need for the legislator to intervene by setting rules and addressing potential conflicts of interest.

Due to the free movement of information, these legal interventions must focus on protecting the persons affected. The Internet has resulted in a greater need – primarily in a quantitative, rather than a qualitative sense – for guarantees of privacy. Companies’ and citizens’ growing demand for information and the broader scope for governments to make use of information, sometimes coupled with a somewhat careless approach by individuals towards the disclosure of personal data, make it difficult to protect privacy in the information age. The degree of complexity is further increased because information is often available globally, in contrast to the relevant regulatory regimes, which are generally established at the national or, at best, regional level. The most important regulatory approach for the information society is based on the concept of broad-based Internet governance.

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