New technologies are emerging at extraordinary speed, with unprecedented social and economic consequences. Change is so pervasive that this era has been termed the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’.
The Human Rights and Technology Project (Project) considers the implications for our human rights, and how we should respond to protect and promote those rights.
Informed by extensive public consultation, this discussion paper uses a human rights approach to identify and analyse the challenges and opportunities for human rights protection and promotion in the context of new and emerging technologies. It considers what is needed in terms of regulation, governance and leadership, and makes concrete proposals to reform laws, policy and practice.
The discussion paper is published at a critical time for Australia. There are several inquiries and consultations currently being conducted, with a view to shaping Australia’s response to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. There is a general consensus that this era presents risks and opportunities, and Australia needs to address both.
The great promise of new and emerging technologies is likely to be realised only if there is social trust in their development and use. That in turn requires innovation that is consultative, inclusive and accountable, with robust safeguards for human rights protection and promotion. This accords with Australia’s binding obligations under international human rights law to respect, protect and fulfil human rights across all areas of life.
Submissions closed 10 March 2020.