This blog site was set up and is run on a purely non-commercial basis by Joe Cannataci and a team of volunteers from around the world. The site was created to provide a forum for discussing anything and everything connected to privacy.

The need for a new forum became even more apparent to Joe when travelling around the world on assuming the role of UN Special Rapporteur for Privacy in the second half of 2015. Having worked continuously in the field of privacy for over thirty years, he was well aware of the sterling work carried out by Privacy International, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Access Now and other NGOs but was still surprised to find out how great is the need for creating awareness at all levels of society about threats to privacy as well as safeguards and remedies which are both easily available and affordable.

Perhaps more than anything else, Joe was also struck by the fact that so many people do not seem to be asking the question “Why privacy?” Most people appeared to accept privacy as a stand-alone right, indeed a fundamental human right but few stopped to ask whether privacy is satisfyingly an end in itself or whether it is only a means to an end. For many years, he has found it useful to understand privacy as an enabling right, as one of a set of other information-related rights such as freedom of expression or freedom of information which enable the individual to fulfil an overarching fundamental right to the free and unhindered development of one’s personality.  This is a right formally recognised by the constitutions of countries as geographically far apart as Brazil and Germany yet two problems persist: a) the right to free development of personality is not explicitly recognised as a fundamental human right in the majority of countries round the world; b) there has never been an adequate, in-depth, structured international discussion about the right to free development of personality, its relationship to privacy and its proper standing in international law. This blog was created deliberately to create a forum where such a discussion can at least partially begin.


This website is not managed by the University of Malta, the University of Groningen, the Security Research Institute at Edith Cowan University or the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights or any other institution with which Joe Cannataci may be affiliated. Its content does not reflect the official position of any of these institutions.