The defence of human rights is always important, but in a year of immense public health challenges, it has gained a new significance. In times of crisis, rights are often treated as disposable. But these are the exact moments where it becomes critical to hold those in power to account. If we want technology to be part of our recovery from Covid-19 – and we believe it can be part of building back better – we need it to be rights-respecting. That will not happen without a fight.
At Digital Rights Watch, it’s been a period of significant change and progress. We’ve managed to build on our success last year and hire more staff members, which has allowed us to do more work than ever, and this change could not have come at a better time. We’ve raised our voice about the problems with the COVIDSafe app, we have filed submissions on privacy, data retention, the proposed media code and the UN Periodic Review. We’ve had many meetings on zoom and quite a few meetings to talk about the problems with the business model of platforms like zoom.
In short, the pandemic has meant that our dependence on the internet has never been more apparent, and our role as advocates for freedom and fundamental rights online has never felt more urgent. We’re really proud of what we’ve achieved this year, and we are grateful, as always, for the support from members. Supporters of our work allow us to speak loudly to those in power, from both industry and government, so thanks for taking the time to be one.
Our 2020 Annual Report below documents the work of Digital Rights Watch for the year, including campaigns, staff changes, submissions, publications, and media engagement.
Click here to download the PDF.