The Privatisation of Human Rights - 26 Jan 2016

The Privatisation of Human Rights is a paper commissioned by CIGI - The Global Commission on Internet Governance and Chatham House about how a small handful of private companies are playing an increasingly important role in mediating our human rights in the online environment.

Whether you’re in Austria or Yemen, you’re spending the majority of your time on just three web platforms: Google, Facebook and YouTube, all of which are free to use, and are founded on the sale of user data.

The web platforms’ standard terms give providers rights to intrude on every aspect of a user’s online life, while giving users the Hobson’s choice of either agreeing to those terms or not using the platform (the illusion of consent).


  • Big data and profiling
  • Human rights risks of big data collection
  • Standard terms analysis: the illustion of consent
  • Content moderation: an illusion of automation
  • The illusion of neutrality and the need for ethics
  • Public attitudes about privacy
Download this report

This report is available as a free download from this website.


  • Publisher: Global Commission on Internet Governance
  • File Type: PDF
  • Page Count: 32
  • File Size: 716 KB