News: 2017

    Digitalisation at the G20 Argentina Presidency

    April 16, 2017

    The Civil Society G7/G20 Digitalisation Task Force welcomes the proposal of the G20 Ministers to continue the work on digitalisation, during the forthcoming Argentina Presidency.

    The task force acknowledges the explicit recognition in that G20 Ministerial Declaration about the importance of data protection and privacy, human rights and freedom of expression, as well as the emphasis on inclusion. In particular, the task force acknowledges the recognition by the G20 Ministers of the importance of affordability to ensure universal access to the Internet, as expressed in the Civil Society G7/G20 position. The reference to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and more specifically, the OECD 2016 Ministerial Declaration on the Digital Economy sets a favorable context for the development of digitalisation, in the conditions outlined by the Civil Society Issues Statement in Cancún.

    However much work remains to do. The respect for privacy globally as a fundamental human right, the protection of strong encryption able to be turned on by default, concrete plans and commitments to ensure the affordability of internet connections, or the establishment of accountability mechanisms and compensation structures for digital disruptions, which range from job losses to intentional network shutdowns, are some of the tasks that need further work by the G20. In particular, the G20 multi-stakeholder model has showed severe limitations to facilitate the coordination of non governmental participants and their engagement in the G20 interaction. The G7/ G20 Digitalisation Task Force notes the exclusion of the C20 (the civil society stakeholder of the G20) from the list of stakeholders contributing to the exchange on digitalisation, as in the G20 Digitalisation Ministers Declaration.

    In order to continue contributing constructively to this process, the G7/ G20 Digitalisation Task Force is starting to plan the engagement towards the next G20 presidency by Argentina. Civil society participants interested in taking part in this process are invited to join the work of the task force, in the context of the OECD-G20 dialogue at CSISAC. To learn more about the CSISAC and how to engage in our work, you can visit the CSISAC Website or directly write to the CSISAC Liaison .

    Civil Society at the G20 Ministerial on Digitalisation

    April 5, 2017

    CSISAC member Pam Dixon (World Privacy Forum) will take part as a panelist in the stakeholder event to be held 6 April in Düsseldorf, in the context of the G20 Ministerial meeting on Digitalisation. In addition that, other CSISAC members will take part in the meeting, including Wolfgang Kleinwächter and Renata Ávila.

    The participation of CSISAC members takes place in the context of the dialogue between the OECD and G20 on the transformations produced by digitalisation, and it will be guided by the G7/G20 Digitalisation Task Force position. The Civil Society G7/ G20 Digitalisation Task Force, was constituted in agreement with the C20 to open a channel for the participation of civil society in the G20 dialogue on digitalisation.

    CSISAC to take part in the OECD Steering Group on Digitalisation

    April 3, 2017

    As part of the outcomes from the 2016 OECD Ministerial Meeting in Cancún (Mexico), the CSISAC has achieved an increased recognition as the main channel to facilitate civil society participation in the work of the OECD on the digital economy. Following up on this outcome, CSISAC Steering Committee and EPIC's Director Marc Rotenberg has been invited to represent the CSISAC in the Steering Group of the OECD Horizontal Digitalisation Project in the meeting to be held April 4th, in the OECD Headquarters in Paris. This project binds together more than 70 projects of 14 committees accross the OECD. The engagement of the CSISAC in this project increases the opportunities for civil society participants to contribute to global policy-making on the digital agenda.

    Civil Society on the Global Digital Agenda at the RightsCon

    March 24, 2017

    The CSISAC panel at the RightsCon 2017 will be held Wednesday the 29th of March from 14:30 to 15:45 at the Inspiration room, in the 1st Floor of the events's venue. The purpose of the panel is to take stock of the current situation after the Cancún Civil Society Forum, and set the way forward for global digital policy making. With this purpose, CSISAC Secretariat Suso Baleato will provide a brief update about the G7/ G20 and OECD digitalisation agenda, as a way to set the context for civil society leaders to share their views on the global policy-making priorities. Panelists will include:

    • Amie Stepanovich (Access Now), on encryption and mass government surveillance
    • Harry Halpin (INRIA), on encryption and international trade
    • Maryant Fernández (EDRi) on trade and data protection/ privacy
    • Anriette Esterhuysen (APC) on gender and digital access
    • Renata Ávila (Web Foundation) on digital equality and developing countries
    • Richard Wingfield (GPD) on Africa and Internet shutdowns
    • Dennys Antonialli (Internet Lab) on Brazil and digital rights
    • Alejandro Segarra (ADC) on Latin América, including next G20 Presidency (Argentina)
    • Jeremy Malcolm (EFF) on multistakeholderism and Internet policy making

    After the initial round of brief interventions, the audience will be invited to engage in an exchange of views for the remaining time of the panel, moderated by the CSISAC Secretariat. RightsCon attendants whishing to share their views are encouraged to contact the organisation of the panel to facilitate their participation, sending a mail to liaison@csisac.org

    CSISAC on Digitalisation at the RightsCon 2017

    March 10, 2017

    The organisation of the RightsCon 2017 has confirmed the proposal of the CSISAC to organize a meeting for civil society participants to share their view on the priorities of the global digital policy agenda, and setting the way forward towards 2018.

    At the meeting, the CSISAC will provide an update about the recent incorporation of digitalisation in the policy agenda of the G7/ G20. This group of countries represent the 80% of the global GDP and the 64% of the world's population, turning the G20 into one of the most relevant arenas for global policy making. The incorporation of digitalisation to the G20 agenda in the 2017 German Presidency, following up on the Hangzhou outcomes, and the prominent role of the OECD in providing evidence base references, opens the opportunity for civil society to engage in the digital policy making directly at the global level.

    The purpose of the meeting is to have civil society participants reporting on their respective areas of leadership, to set the way forward in this context. The CSISAC invites civil society organizations, activists and scholars to engage in this discussion to set the way forward towards 2018.

    G7/G20 Digitalisation Task Force Position

    March 1, 2017

    As the result of the interaction with the G20 Civil Society (C20) stakeholder, the CSISAC is taking the lead to facilitate the coordination of society participants engaging in the G7/G20 work on digitalisation. With this purpose, the Civil Society G7/ G20 Task Force on Digitalisation has been constituted, to contribute to the G7/ G20 process with a civil society perspective on the digitalisation process. As a first deliverable, the Digitalisation Task Force has prepared the following position, to be delivered to the G20 Sherpas in their forthcoming meeting:

    Digitalisation represents an unprecedented opportunity to improve social and economic prosperity. However,

    • while 80% of the population in developed countries have broadband access through their smart-phones, more than half of the global population -3.9 billion people- still do not have access to the Internet, where women in the developing world are 50% less likely to be online than men1, and ethnic minorities 40% more likely to be affected by digital discrimination2,
    • digital disruptions are increasingly registering many negative effects, including job losses and income inequality3, mass surveillance or political de-legitimisation,

    The countries taking part in the G20 representing as they do 80% of the global GDP and the 64% of the world's population have a primary responsibility in overcoming these issues. The relevance given to digitalisation by the 2017 G20 German Presidency, following up on the Hangzhou outcomes, provides a favourable context to address these challenges. In order to contribute to that goal, the Civil Society G7/G20 Task Force on Digitalisation 4 has identified the following recommendations for adoption by the G20 members:

    1. Build digital resilience: foster data protection, privacy and encryption by default/ design,
    2. improve sustainability: enable universal and affordable, full Internet access, skills and use,
    3. assume responsibility: establish a means for compensation for digital disruptions.

    In order to facilitate the implementation of these recommendations, the Task Force invites the G20 to take note of the underlying rationale, and to adopt the corresponding international guidelines, standards and legal frameworks, as follows.

    1. Building Resilience in the Digital Environment

    Building resilience means developing a digital environment that individuals and organisations can trust. No trust, no trade. To build trustworthiness in the digital products, services and infrastructures, personal data and privacy needs to be protected, the safety of the digital environment needs to be assured, and transparency needs to be provided to enable accountability of algorithmic decission-making. With this objective, the G20 members should:

    • Foster a policy making approach that favours strong security and encourages encryption by default/ design for the digital communication and protection of data, adopting the OECD Guidelines for Cryptography Policy. In addition, information security policies should make available measurement and analysis to enable an informed assessment about the safety of the digital environment, taking as reference the OECD Recommendations on Digital Security Risk Management, and the OECD Recommendations on the Protection of Critical Information Infrastructures.
    • Recognise the nature of privacy as a fundamental right and strengthen privacy enforcement and data protection by governments, corporations and individuals towards ensuring the safety of personal data, and ending arbitrary or unlawful mass surveillance or interception of electronic communications adopting the OECD Privacy Guidelines, the Civil Society Madrid Declaration, the provisions of Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the United Nations General Assembly Resolutions on the Right to Privacy in the Digital Age, the reports of the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy of the Human Rights Council, and the positions on this issue of the European Court of Human Rights and the Council of Europe.

    2. Improving the Sustainability and Equity of Digitalisation

    Improving sustainability and equity means fostering a deployment of digitalisation which is compatible with the dynamics of the affected ecosystems, where human rights and the democratic rule of law sets the standards for the governance of human societies. With this objective, the G20 members should:

    • Foster investments in digitalisation to ensure universal and affordable, full Internet access and use in the context of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals Agenda, prioritising women and other digitally excluded groups, and including provisions to evaluate their impact on the ecosystem and on human rights. Current figures for 58 low- and middle-income countries show that only one-third have internet that is affordable for the majority of their people5. This assessment should include a focus on the mining and manufacturing regions involved in the industrial production of electronic devices, on the effects of digitalisation in the full range of human rights worldwide including privacy, freedom of expression, and also economic, social and cultural rights6. Built-in obsolescence and proprietary standards should be excluded from public procurement, in favor of open source and open standard technologies and those with longer life cycles, and improved energy efficiency.
    • Adopt a sustainable multi-stakeholder approach that ensures participation parity for all involved stakeholders, and compliance to the democratic rule of law, improving the models of the bodies currently setting the standards and legal frameworks that are driving digitalisation, and taking as reference the NETmundial Internet Governance Principles, and the OECD Council Internet Policy-Making Principles.

    3. Assuming the Responsibility of Digital Externalities

    Assuming responsibility means addressing the potential harmful effects of digitalisation. Individuals and organisations should be protected from eventual digital failures, and the economic impact of digital disruption should be compensated for to ensure inclusiveness. With this objective, G20 members should:

    • Develop an accountability model that identifies all the actors involved in the provision of digital services and products, identifying their technical and legal obligations, and establishing principles of compensations to the various actors in the case of failure, taking as reference the OECD Recommendations on Consumer Protection in E-commerce, and on Electronic Authentication.
    • Develop an economic model where the profits of digitalisation contribute to support social protection systems capable of compensating for the displacement of individual purchasing and savings capacity, so as to ensure the coverage of basic needs and the acquisition of skills for job transition and to harness the new technologies and modes of production.

    About the G7/G20 Civil Society Digitalisation Task Force

    The G7/G20 Civil Society Digitalisation Task Force was established in 2017 to provide a channel for civil society participants involved in digitalisation to engage in the G7/ G20 process. Recognizing the role of the OECD Committee on the Digital Economy Policy (CDEP) as the main provider of digitalisation policy in the G7/G20 context, the task force works as part of Civil Society Advisory Council of that committee (the OECD CSISAC).

    The CSISAC is the voice of civil society at the OECD CDEP. The CSISAC facilitates the exchange of information between the OECD and civil society participants, leading to better-informed and more widely accepted policy frameworks. The formal recognition of this Advisory Committee by the OECD in 2008 was the result of an effort initiated in the 1990s to promote participation parity in global policy-making.

    Today, the CSISAC is the main venue to channel the participation of civil society in the OECD work on the digital economy, joining the efforts of more than 200 organisations, activists and scholars worldwide. You can learn more about the CSISAC visiting our website7, or by writing directly to the CSISAC liaison at <liaison@csisac.org>

    Acknowledgements

    This paper has been prepared by CSISAC Liaison Suso Baleato, based on the input provided by the CSISAC membership, including Marc Rotenberg, Claire Milne, Amie Stepanovich, Wolfgang Kleinwächter, Michael Gurstein, Renata Ávila, Jeremy Malcolm, Roger Clarke, Martin Schmalzried, Deborah Brown, Maryant Fernández, Pam Dixon, Susan Grant, Valeria Milanes, Harry Halpin, Anriette Esterhuysen, Dennys Antonialli and Alejadro Segarra.

    Footnotes:

    1

    Women in the developing world are 50% less likely to be online than men. See: http://webfoundation.org/about/research/digital-gender-gap-audit/ Figures based on 2016 research.

    2

    Politically excluded ethnic groups have 40% less connectivity than favored ones. See http://science.sciencemag.org/content/353/6304/1151

    3

    See the reports of the OECD Committee on the Digital Economy https://www.oecd.org/internet/ministerial/

    5

    Based on 1GB of mobile data priced at 2% or less the average monthly income. Based on 2017 figures. See: http://a4ai.org/affordability-report/

    Health and Digitalisation at the OECD

    February 25, 2017

    OECD Health Ministerial

    On 17th January 2017, the OECD has held a Meeting of the Health Committee at Ministerial Level on The Next Generation of Health Reforms. The discussion at the meeting included relevant developments in health systems, such as new technologies, the emergence of personalised medicine and big data. The CSISAC welcomes the recognition by the OECD of the need to develop a people-centered health systems, and also about the need to protect the privacy of citizens to harness the potential benefits of digitalisation.

    Health Data Governance

    At the Ministerial, the OECD released the Recommendation on Health Data Governance, developed in a multi-stakeholder approach with the participation of the CSISAC. This recommendation reflects international consensus on a set of guiding conditions for governing personal, sensitive health data both domestically and transnationally to develope knowledge-driven health systems potential of health data to improve clinical practice, research, health system management and surveillance. The CSISAC will continue monitoring this framework to ensure privacy and data protection in the development of health systems public policy.

    New Health Technolgies

    Also in the context of the Ministerial, the OECD released a new report on New Health Technologies. This report discusses the need for an integrated and cyclical approach to managing health technology in order to mitigate clinical and financial risks, and ensure acceptable value for money. In addition to the role of the health technologies, the  final chapter of the report examines how health systems can make better use of health data and digital technologies. The chapter reviews the opportunities and risks related to health data, including explicit references and sections to the role of privacy and data protection. The CSISAC recognises the relevance of the work on health data, and welcomes the approach of the OECD in recognising the role of privacy and data protection.

    OECD Releases Recommendation on Health Data Governance

    January 23, 2017

    The OECD has released the Recommendation on Health Data Governance. The CSISAC thanks the OECD for the opportunity to take part in the dialogue that lead to the final text, including the participation in the Advisory Committee on Health Data, and the meetings at the OECD Committee on Digital Economy Policy (CDEP). The text of the recommendation can be found in the OECD site about Health Governance, together with other related documents.

    CSISAC Fosters Digital Inclusion, Privacy and a Multistakeholder Approach at the G20

    January 16, 2017

    At the joint OECD-G20 meeting held the 12th of January in Berlin, the CSISAC fostered privacy and data protection as the main vector to ensure digital trust, and asked for an improvement of the G20 multi-stakeholder model to facilitate the contribution of the non-governmental organizations, scholars and activists with expertise on the topic.

    The main purpose of the meeting was to explore the crucial issues of digitalisation from an econometric perspective. With this goal, the OECD released the report Key Issues for Digital Transformation in the G20, and the G20 organized a set of panels on the topic. While the panels lacked a consistent civil society representation, several CSISAC members took part actively in the discussions, including EPIC and Consumers International, in addition to the CSISAC Secretariat. G20 stakeholders taking part included the Civil Society stakeholder (C20), participants of the G20 Women stakeholder (W20).

    Privacy and Data Protection at the G20

    At the discussion, the CSISAC recognised the importance and timely delivery of the OECD report, remarking the importance of developing  a digital economy capable to address inequality in the society, and the lack of trust in citizens, users and consumers. On improving trust, the CSISAC fostered the need to understand digital trust not just as the result of security, but also fundamentally, privacy. With this regard, privacy was presented as a fundamental right, therefore leading to the need to improve data protection and the rights of the users. CSISAC proposed a trust approach based on privacy enabling technologies, privacy and criptography by default policies, and algorithmic transparency, as exemplified by CSISAC member EPIC. On digital contracts and terms of service, the CSISAC supported the perspectives raised by CSISAC member Consumers International.

    Towards a Multi-Stakeholder Approach at the G20

    During the discussion, the CSISAC reflected on the priorities of the C20 consultation, which raised concerns about the shrinking space represented by civil society in many regions of the world . In several opportunities during the meeting, the CSISAC raised the convenience for the G20 to implement a multi-stakeholder approach based on participation parity. With this purpose, the CSISAC has raised the existence of several multistakelder models, like those developed by the Internet technical bodies, and others like the UN Internet Governance Forum. The CSISAC suggested the utility of the OECD 'stakeholder councils' model as a reference for the G20 to improve the current implementation.

    In addition, the secretariats of the CSISAC and the G20 Civil Society stakeholder (C20) took the opportunity to share perspectives about possible approaches for collaboration. Both secretariats agreed on the importance of consolidating the C20, and the interest of  incorporating digitalisation as a cross-cutting issue in the G20 civil society work. A proposal to have the CSISAC supporting the C20 as the main channel for civil society participation at the G20, and having the CSISAC assuming the leadership of the C20 work on digitalisation, will be put forward to both Steering Committees for consideration.

    Background

    At the 73rd session of the CDEP, the CSISAC was invited to take part in the dialogue between the OECD and the G20 on digitalisation.  This dialogue consists in a joint policy-making effort that takes as the main references the G20 Hangzhou agenda on digitalisation, and the OECD project in the same topic. The CSISAC is engaging in this dialogue as a way to consolidate and foster the Civil Society Principles by having them consistently incorporated in the agendas and in the policy recommendations of the OECD and the G20.

    CSISAC to Lead the Work on Digitalisation in the G20 Civil Society Process (C20)

    February 9, 2017

    At the joint G20-OECD meeting, the Secretariats of the Civil Society Council of the OECD (CSISAC) and the civil society facilitator of the G20 German Presidency (C20) took the opportunity to share perspectives about possible approaches for collaboration. Both Secretariats agreed on the importance of consolidating the C20, and on the interest of  incorporating digitalisation as a cross-cutting issue in the future work of the C20.

    At the meeting it was acknowledged the recognition of the CSISAC and the C20 as the main channels for civil society participation at the OECD work on digitalisation, and in the G20, respectively. In addition, the joint G20-OECD meeting was useful to make visible the role of the OECD work on digitalisation as the main reference for the G20.

    A proposal emerged to have the CSISAC supporting the C20 as the main channel for civil society participation at the G20, and to have the C20 supporting the leadership of the CSISAC to facilitate the civil society dialogue on digitalisation. With this purpose, the CSISAC is planning:

    • To continue providing the main channel for civil society participation at the OECD work on digitalisation. The focus will be set on the Committee for the Digital Economy Policy (CDEP) and its Horizontal Project on Digitalisation, as this is expected to be the main source of policy references to feed the G20 process.
    • To engage in the C20 process, facilitating the engagement of the CSISAC membership in the C20 Working Groups, taking part in the C20 organized meetings, and organizing a G20 task force on digitalisation. The purpose will be to have a civil society perspective on digitalisation reflected in the G20 outcomes.

    The CSISAC invites non-governmental organizations, scholars and activists with expertise on digitalisation to get involved. You can visit our website to learn about the CSISAC and the OECD, and express your interest to engage sending a mail to liaison (at) csisac.org.

    Background on the OECD-G20 Process

    At the 73rd session of the CDEP, the CSISAC was invited to take part in the dialogue between the OECD and the G20 on digitalisation.  This dialogue consists in a joint policy-making effort that takes as the main references the G20 Hangzhou agenda on digitalisation, and the OECD project in the same topic. The CSISAC is engaging in this dialogue as a way to consolidate and foster the Civil Society Principles by having them consistently incorporated in the agendas and in the policy recommendations of the OECD and the G20.