ADC with strong presence at RightsCon 2022
The Association for Civil Rights (ADC) attended a new edition of RightsCon, an annual summit where more than a thousand experts from different countries meet to work on and discuss the challenges of human rights in the digital sphere.
The event was held between June 6 and 10 in virtual mode through its website. The more than 560 sessions addressed a variety of topics ranging from artificial intelligence and surveillance to online hate and violence. ADC formed part of four panels and talks.
Our first participation was on June 6, in a session on surveillance technologies titled “Banning Facial Recognition in Public Security: a Brazilian civil society mobilization.” ADC project leader Eduardo Ferreyra presented the campaign “Con Mi Cara No” (Not With My Face), which demanded that the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires ban the use of facial recognition technology in public spaces because of its incompatibility with the safeguard of human rights.
“We have joined forces with other organizations to discuss with legislators, addressing the problem these systems pose”, said Ferreyra in the panel. He added that although the approval of the law enabling this type of surveillance could not be avoided, it did allow a change in some people’s views.
On Wednesday, June 8, ADC took part in a lightning talk dedicated to digital accessibility, titled “Challenges and opportunities in planning an accessible digital communication campaign”. In this session, María Sol Abichain, project officer of PUEDA – For an Accessible Digital Environment project, and Pablo Lecuona, member of PUEDA and founder of the organization Tiflonexos (dedicated to people with visual disabilities), responded to questions.
Lecuona emphasized that “if making something accessible means a higher budget, it should be done all the same: accessibility barriers affect at least 20% of the population, including people with disabilities, low digital literacy or limited access to devices and connectivity”.
On June 9, the workshop “Small consumers, big business: the problem of commercial exploitation of children online” addressed the problem of child exploitation on the Internet. ADC, together with the Brazilian organizations Instituto Alana and Data Privacy, presented the report “Data and rights of children and adolescents in the digital environment: legal pathways for protection in Brazil and Argentina”.
During the session, discussion groups were held in which, among other things, the importance of “involving children and adolescents in actions as subjects of rights with a voice and a definition of their best interests” was stressed.
Finally, on June 10, ADC participated in the “Session on Public Private Partnership (PPP). Partners in surveillance: a global view of state-business surveillance partnerships, and how to seek accountability”, represented by our project leader Eduardo Ferreyra. The aim was to discuss surveillance technologies used around the world and their public procurement by governments.
Ferreyra referred to the investigations done by ADC on the systems deployed by the City of Buenos Aires and indicated that “we requested information from the City authorities on the surveillance equipment contracts, but we got no response. They deny us the information because it is a matter of national security”. He also remarked on the lack of imports by the companies, which obscures transparency in the public-private procurement process.