International Law and New Challenges to Democracy in the Digital Age: Big Data, Privacy and Interferences with the Political Process
in: Normann Witzleb/Janice Richardson/Moira Peterson (eds.), Big Data, Political Campaigning and the Law: Privacy and Democracy in the Age of Micro-Targeting, Routledge, 2019 Forthcoming
23 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2019
Date Written: 2019
Big data analytics entails unprecedented possibilities to acquire, store and analyse data describing human actions in great detail as well as at scale. While the implications of big data operations on human rights law, especially the right to privacy, have been a major research focus for some time, this chapter approaches the matter from a different angle. After analysing the threats posed by big data-based cyber operations – whether carried out by state or non-state actors – to democratic processes, structures and values, the chapter examines the potential of public international law in responding to such threats. It is argued that even though democracy as such does not play a significant role in international law, international law is nevertheless able to protect democracy against challenges arising in the digital age – namely via a democracy-based approach rooted in international human rights law on the one hand, and the principle of non-intervention on the other hand.
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