Cisco calls on governments to make privacy a 'fundamental human right'

Cisco calls on governments to make privacy a 'fundamental human right'

Tech giant advocates for common elements in privacy legislation globally

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Networking giant Cisco wants governments globally to take privacy more serious and make it a "fundamental human right".

The tech giant announced it will advocate for common elements in privacy legislation around the world including:

  • Security: Assign responsibility to protect the confidentiality, integrity, availability, and resiliency of data;
  • Transparency: Explain how data is collected, used, transferred, and disclosed;
  • Accountability: Ensure governance for data under the entity’s stewardship, including a data protection team, applying a risk-based approach;
  • Innovation: Recognise multi-stakeholder-driven initiatives that enhance transparency and provide paths for implementation.

In Australia, during the parliamentary review of the Assistance and Access Bill – rushed through Parliament on the final sitting day of 2018 – Cisco raised concerns over the bill.

In a submission to parliament, the Cisco expressed "serious reservations" regarding provisions within the Bill that "threaten to undercut sustained efforts by Cisco and others to develop, deploy and maintain technologies that are secure, trustworthy, transparent and accountable".

The parliament should pursue, in Cisco's views, avenues that limit the application of Australia's laws to technologies in a manner that avoids adversely impacting their design, development and use globally.

Furthermore, Cisco states that by adopting country-specific mandates, Australia undermines access to strong encryption and could lead to harming the global competitiveness of Australian enterprises and slow their access to innovations in technology.

Now Cisco is calling for "comprehensive and interoperable" privacy legislation around the world that allows ethical movement of data between countries.

"Laws should be anchored to the core principles of security, transparency, fairness, and accountability, because privacy is a fundamental human right,” said Chuck Robbins, chairman and CEO at Cisco.

In the US, Cisco has called on the government to develop a US federal privacy law that assures customers their data is protected.

Specifically, Cisco is urging for a legislation that ensures interoperability between different privacy protection regimes; avoids fracturing of legal obligations for data privacy through a uniform federal law that aligns with the emerging global consensus; and reassures customers that enforcement of privacy rights will be robust without costly and unnecessary litigation.

"As we enter an era powered by IoT, 5G, and AI, it is critical for our customers, partners, governments, and the public to know Cisco’s commitment to privacy is stronger than ever,” said Mark Chandler, EVP and chief legal officer at Cisco.

"Our belief that privacy is a fundamental human right has helped make Cisco the most trusted supplier of technology products and solutions, embedding privacy at the core of each Cisco technology that powers the internet."

More about Cisco's call on US law makers can be found here

ARN has contacted Cisco Australia for comment

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