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Heightened Risks Associate Surveillance Technologies & the Importance of Safeguards in the Use of these Tools
Joint Statement as Delivered by Ambassador Taylor
October 4, 2023

The United States Delivered the Following Joint Statement at the 54th Session of the Human Rights Council

Heightened Risks Associated with Surveillance Technologies and the Importance of Safeguards in the Use of these Tools

54th Session of UN Human Rights Council

Joint Statement as Delivered by Ambassador Michèle Taylor

Item 8 General Debate


Thank you, Mr. President.

We deliver this statement on behalf of 58 countries, including the Freedom Online Coalition.

Responsible government use of surveillance technologies should aim to improve safety and security while respecting human rights and the rule of law, including international human rights obligations and commitments.  Responsible users should also work to prevent and mitigate adverse human rights impacts.

The use of technologies associated with surveillance, such as Internet controls, big data analytic tools, AI-driven persistent video surveillance, and intrusive surveillance software, including commercial spyware, should not enhance the capacity to violate or abuse human rights and target human rights defenders, journalists, activists, workers, union leaders, political opposition members, and other perceived critics.  Such tools should not be used in an arbitrary or unlawful manner to infringe privacy, curb dissent, restrict access to information, or limit the freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly, and association.

We call on governments to take steps to ensure the use of these technologies is lawful and responsible, in accordance with states’ domestic law and international obligations and commitments.  Governments should also establish safeguards that apply to the collection, handling, and disclosure of personal information obtained using these technologies to uphold universal human rights and the rule of law.  Governments may incorporate principles such as lawfulness, necessity, proportionality, or reasonableness.  Governments should foster transparency, oversight, and accountability and mitigate unlawful or unintended bias in their use of these tools.

We encourage governments to work closely with industry, civil society, and other stakeholders to inform approaches, set appropriate standards, and encourage responsible practices in this sector.

I thank you.


  1. Albania
  2. Argentina
  3. Australia
  4. Austria
  5. Armenia
  6. Belgium
  7. Bulgaria
  8. Cabo Verde
  9. Cameroon
  10. Canada
  11. Chile
  12. Colombia
  13. Costa Rica
  14. Croatia
  15. Cyprus
  16. Czechia
  17. Denmark
  18. Ecuador
  19. Estonia
  20. Finland
  21. France
  22. Gambia
  23. Georgia
  24. Germany
  25. Ghana
  26. Greece
  27. Iceland
  28. Ireland
  29. Israel
  30. Italy
  31. Japan
  32. Kenya
  33. Latvia
  34. Lithuania
  35. Luxembourg
  36. Maldives
  37. Malta
  38. Mexico
  39. Moldova
  40. Mongolia
  41. Montenegro
  42. Netherlands
  43. New Zealand
  44. North Macedonia
  45. Norway
  46. Poland
  47. Portugal
  48. Romania
  49. Republic of Korea
  50. Slovakia
  51. Slovenia
  52. Spain
  53. Sweden
  54. Switzerland
  55. Tunisia
  56. United Kingdom
  57. Ukraine
  58. Uruguay
  59. United States