UN Human Rights Committee: Privacy International's submission on the United Kingdom

Ahead of the Human Rights Committee's consideration of the eight periodic report on the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) by the United Kingdom, Privacy International's submission outlines our key concerns in relation to the current UK communications’ surveillance regime and the proposal for its reform; the surveillance of migrants; and the surveillance of peaceful assemblies.

Key advocacy points

Privacy International suggests the Human Rights Committee considers the following recommendations for the UK government:

  • Review and reform the IPA 2016 to ensure its compliance with Article 17 of the ICCPR, including by removing the powers of bulk surveillance;
  • Abandon efforts to undermine the limited safeguards of the IPA 2016 through the proposed Investigatory Powers Amendment Bill;
  • Refrain from taking any measures that undermine or limit the availability of encrypted communications or other important security measures and updates;
  • Cease the imposition of GPS tagging on migrants and adopt alternatives to detention that are respectful of human rights, including the right to privacy, instead of surveillance-based technological alternatives;
  • Halt and ban the use of live facial recognition technology and ensure that any power to undertake targeted surveillance during protest is transparently regulated and adheres to requirements under international human rights law.