CSISAC to engage in the OECD Horizontal Project on Digitalisation

November 28, 2016

At its 73rd session, the OECD Committee for the Digital Economy (CDEP) has discussed the program of work to implement the outcomes outcomes of the Cancún 2016 Ministerial. The core of this proposal will be developed in the context of an Horizontal Project onDigitalisation, to be implemented during the 2017-2018 CDEP term. The horizontal approach involves up to 14 OECD bodies in addition to the CDEP, and will feed the most relevant global conversations on the topic, including the Internet Governance Forum of the United Nations, and the  Summits of the most industrialized countries.

The CSISAC welcomes the proposal to develop this project on the basis of a multi-stakeholder approach, and thanks the invitation made to the CSISAC to engage in this process. The extension of CSISAC participation to the work of other OECD bodies reflects the comment of the OECD Secretary General on the importance of multi-stakeholder approach, and implies the extended recognition of the CSISAC as the main channel for civil society participation at the OECD. In addition, the CSISAC acknowledges the consideration of many of the proposals made by our members during the Civil Society Forum, and thanks the Ministers for their recognition of the importance of respect for human rights and digital security, and supports the declaration of the importance to preserve the fundamental openness of the Internet, the development of international arrangements that promote effective privacy and data protection across jurisdictions, and the evidence- and research-based policy work of the OECD.

However, the threat that the digital economy poses to human rights, including privacy and freedom of expression, was insufficiently addressed in the Ministerial Declaration. Particularly with the rise
of the Internet of things and the use of artificial intelligence for secretive decisions concerning the rights and freedom of individuals, the OECD must focus on the emerging challenges in the Digital
Economy, including a multi-stakeholder approach that is grounded in the rule of law and democratic institutions with a committment to meaningful participation and concrete outcomes; the need to approach the connectivity issue with neutrality, affordability, respect of human rights, and a prohibition of Internet shutdowns; the development of new metrics to assess the consequences of the digital economy including inclusion, fairness and equity, with a focus on the individual, assessing possible discriminations and inequalities; where innovation, data flows, and trade policies respect human rights.

The CSISAC will continue fostering this issues as specific policy issues in the context of the Civil Society Goals, engaging in the OECD Horizontal Project on Digitalisation. The involvement of the CSISAC will consist in the participation of the policy making process both at the OECD and at the interaction with other international settings, and the dissemination of the resulting outcomes.  The CSISAC calls the Civil Society participants with expertise on digital topics to engage in this process. Learn more about the CSISAC, or directly contact the CSISAC Secretariat <liaison@csisac.org>