The Special Rapporteur for the right to Privacy (SRP) intends to, with the assistance of the TASk forces announced in June-October 2016 and the involvement of multiple categories of stakeholders, prepare and present the following reports[1] reflecting the Thematic Action Streams (TAS) undertaken by the mandate as its first set of priorities:

  1. March 2017 – Report to UN Human Rights Council “First approaches to a more privacy-friendly oversight of government surveillance”
  2. October 2017 – Report to UN General Assembly “Big Data & Open Data”
  3. March 2018 – Report to UN Human Rights Council “Some preliminary options within Internet Governance for an international legal instrument on government surveillance”
  4. October 2018 – Report to UN General Assembly “Improving safeguards and remedies for privacy and health data”
  5. March 2019 – Report to UN Human Rights Council “Lessons learned for improved safeguards and remedies in effective oversight of government surveillance”
  6. October 2019 – Report to UN General Assembly “Profits and Privacy: the monetisation of personal data as a business model and the responsibilities of corporations”
  7. March 2020 – Report to UN Human Rights Council “Proportionality, necessity and law in government surveillance, law enforcement and transborder flows of personal data: the effectiveness and improvement of existing legal safeguards and remedies ”
  8. October 2020 – Report to UN General Assembly “Privacy, Personality and flows of information: a first global overview of the universal right to privacy from the perspectives of time, place and space”
  9. March 2021 – Report to UN Human Rights Council “Progress, regress and other dimensions of the effective oversight of government surveillance”
  10. October 2021 – Report to the UN General Assembly “The transborder flow of personal data between corporations, law enforcement and surveillance”

In each case it is expected that the relevant report will be finalised some three months before the publication date in order to afford the UN translation services adequate time to translate the report into the official languages of the UN. Thus, reports to the UN General Assembly are normally finalised by end July of each year and reports to the UN Human Rights Council are normally finalised by end December of each year.


The SRP intends to continue with and expand the system of structured consultations with all stakeholders aimed at gathering evidence and opinions about the various themes tackled in the TAS. These will include but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Public and/or behind-closed-door events such as workshop conferences or other meetings of approximately 60-90 stakeholders specifically co-organised by the SRP in various regions and around various themes. The first of these organised in 2016 were the International Intelligence Oversight Forum 2016 (IIOF2016) held in Bucharest, Romania on 11-12 October 2016 and the conference on Privacy, Personality and Flows of Information held in New York, USA on 19-20 July 2016. The next events scheduled for 2017 are: IIOF2017 to be held in Brussels, Belgium on 20-21 November 2017; Privacy, Personality and Flows of Information in the MENA region” to be held in Tunisia on 22-23 May 2017 and “Big Data and Open Data” to be held on 24-25 July 2017 (location to be confirmed). Other events will be announced in due course;
  • Regular ad hoc meetings with stakeholders organised in various countries around the world. The SRP follows a busy schedule of meetings with civil society, data protection authorities, law enforcement, security and intelligence services, governmental officials and indigenous peoples in multiple visits to countries located on every continent. To date, the SRP has already met stakeholders in 14 different countries. During the next 12 months alone he is expected to meet stakeholders during visits to Central and South America, North America, sub-Saharan Africa, Australia, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. More often than not these meetings are organised at the invitation of various stakeholders including government, human rights commissioners, data protection authorities and civil society and tackle various privacy-related themes which are prioritised by the SRP and the stakeholders themselves.
  • Regular and sustained exchange of information and views with various stakeholders including correspondence and/or video conferencing on an ad hoc basis;

This is a standing invitation to all stakeholders in all countries around the world who wish to engage with the SRP. If you wish to contribute to or otherwise be involved in any of the above mentioned initiatives all you need to do is to contact us (preferably via e-mail: and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.

When doing so, kindly remember that most of the work of the SRP is undertaken on a voluntary basis. There is a huge volume of work to be dealt with, and only limited resources available. This means that sometimes the delay in response is greater than we would wish.

Individuals, governments or organisations wishing to send the SRP their views for consideration when compiling the relative reports should take note of the dates indicated and should send us their contributions at the earliest opportunity and not later than three months before the scheduled end of the editing of the relative report i.e. end April for reports to the General Assembly and end September for reports to the Human Rights Council.

We look forward to hearing from you!


Kind regards,

Joseph A. Cannataci

UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy

[1] Reports 5-10 will be prepared and presented if the mandate of the current Special Rapporteur for the right to Privacy, Professor Joe Cannataci, would be renewed for a second three-year term in July 2018. For a combination of professional and personal family reasons, Prof Cannataci has not yet decided as to whether he would be seeking a renewal of his mandate.