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.

Sanjay Mazumdar

Partner, KPMG Digital Delta

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.

KPMG Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we operate, live and gather as employees, and recognise their continuing connection to land, water and community. We pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.

©2022 KPMG, an Australian partnership and a member firm of the KPMG global organisation of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Limited, a private English company limited by guarantee. All rights reserved. The KPMG name and logo are trademarks used under license by the independent member firms of the KPMG global organisation.

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