Summary of outcomes from the meetings of the 69th Digital Economy Policy Committee of the OECD and its Working Parties

June 29, 2015

The June sessions of the OECD Committee for the Digital Economy Policy have finished today. CSISAC wants to thank Steering Committee members Marc Rotenberg from EPIC and Claire Milne for leading the task forces and attending the Working Parties and the Committee, together with the CSISAC Liaison. In addition, the Civil Society delegation benefitted from the expertise of CSISAC member Martin Schmalzried on the children online topic.

The meetings included the 20th MADE (Working Party on Measurement and Analysis of the Digital Economy), 53nd CISP (Working Party on Communication, Infrastructures and Services Policy), 38th SPDE (Working Party on Security and Privacy in the Digital Economy) and the 69th CDEP (Committee on the Digital Economy Policy). In addition, CSISAC took part in the preparatory meetings for the 2016 Ministerial, including the 3rd Ministerial Steering Group and the 1st Stakeholders Coordination Meeting.

Thanks to the voluntary contribution of CSISAC experts in the analysis and assessment of the OECD draft reports and working papers, the Civil Society delegation contributed to achieving the following outcomes:

  • A new revised Security Guidelines that explicitly recognizes transparency, human rights and responsibility among its principles, increasing the potential for accountability by replacing the previous 'national security' frame with a 'risk management' approach. The acknowledgment by the OECD of the contribution made by CSISAC during the revision process can be recognized in the adoption by the OECD of the proposal to launch the guidelines in an event to be hosted by EPIC in Washington.
  • Increased awareness about the challenges of the digital economy, as only the benefits were initially planned for discussion in the Ministerial. This holds for the four themes of the Ministerial, and includes security and privacy aspects and balancing individual and group interests in the Internet of Things, the potential of privacy enhancing technologies for innovation, or consumer protection and quality of jobs with regard to emerging digital platforms like Uber. CSISAC members are invited to engage in the drafting process of the Ministerial panels to ensure that this need is sufficiently reflected in the Ministerial dossier, and to nominate High Level delegates to participate as speakers in the panels.
  • Adoption of the proposal to hold a Civil Society Stakeholders Forum in coordination with TUAC -labor unions stakeholder- in parallel to the forums organized by BIAC -the business stakeholder- and ITAC -the technical community stakeholder- the day before the Ministerial. In addition, a CSISAC member will participate in the High Level Plenary that will serve to launch the Ministerial in the first day, opening the way to effectively feed the Ministerial with the output of our Forum, perhaps in the form of a Civil Society Declaration. CSISAC has started to explore possible alternatives to maximize the Civil Society participation at the Ministerial. With that purpose, CSISAC has invited the OECD to coordinate with the Mexican delegation the logistics of Civil Society participation.

The meetings of the CDEP represent an important milestone, as the work of CSISAC during the following year will focus on the preparation of the Ministerial. The organization of the Civil Society Forum is expected to concentrate the efforts of CSISAC in order to contribute constructively to the outcomes of the 2016 Ministerial in Cancun (Mexico).

CSISAC wants to acknowledge the contribution of those who have been providing the resources to support our activity, mainly the Open Society Foundation, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and the European Digital Rights (EDRi). That leads to a big thanks to Meryem Marzouki from EDRi, the 'architect' of CSISAC, who has recently handed over her responsibilities after many years of excellent work. In addition, COFACE-EU has contributed by sending a delegate to provide input on the OECD work on children online.