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Human rights and technology in 2020 and beyond

Human rights and technology in 2020 and beyond

KPMG's submission to the Australian Human Rights Commission explores how technology can help solve complex and interconnected sustainable development challenges.

Dr. Sanjay Mazumdar

Chief Data Officer

KPMG Australia


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KPMG’s submission to the Australian Human Rights Commission

Australia’s digital innovation roadmap is forecast to deliver up to $315 billion in gross economic value over the next decade. High tech advancements in a number of domains – such as artificial intelligence (AI), human augmentation, blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), quantum computing and green, nano and neuro-technologies, to name a few – as well as the increasingly exponential volumes and new forms of data (e.g. genomic and other bio data, video, voice) being exchanged, are anticipated to deliver benefits across sectors and geographies.

Notwithstanding the benefits of technological breakthroughs, there is a risk Australia will not fully realise its digital potential. In fact, negative impacts from new technologies on individuals, communities, and the environment can undermine their intended benefits. High profile incidents can also result in mistrust within the community, stalling the development of breakthrough technologies.

These risks mainly arise because the pace of technological advancements far outweighs the ability of policy makers and regulators to provide clear guidelines on how to balance the benefits of technological innovation with legal, ethical and human rights considerations.

Our recommendations are centred on seven key themes:

  • Future-proofing the debate on human rights and emerging technologies.
  • Broadening the scope of the conversation on responsible innovation to embed considerations on sustainability.
  • Understanding that Australia will often be a net importer of emerging technologies.
  • Recognising the indivisibility of rights, encourage practical guidance on how to balance individual rights and community benefits.
  • Understanding the challenges and limitations of the current Australian privacy framework.
  • Balancing innovation and regulation.
  • Empowering trust by introducing productive transparency.

Read our full submission to the Australian Human Rights Commission below.

© 2020 KPMG, an Australian partnership and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.

KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”) is a Swiss entity. Member firms of the KPMG network of independent firms are affiliated with KPMG International. KPMG International provides no client services. No member firm has any authority to obligate or bind KPMG International or any other member firm vis-à-vis third parties, nor does KPMG International have any such authority to obligate or bind any member firm.

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