OECD Meetings: Summary of the 73rd Session of the Digital Economy Policy Committee (CDEP)

November 21, 2016

The CSISAC has participated in the 73rd Session of the Digital Economy Policy Committee (CDEP), held in conjunction with the meetings of its Working Parties on Measurement and Analysis (MADE), Communications, Infrastructure and Services (CISP) and Security and Privacy (SPDE). We wanted to thank all the civil society experts that have taken part in the preparation of the meeting, contributing with analysis and suggestions of the OECD draft papers and discussions.

The CSISAC delegation was formed by the Steering Committee members Marc Rotenberg and Claire Milne attending the SPDE and the CISP respectively, and Suso Baleato taking part as CSISAC liaison in the CDEP, and as delegate for the statistical working party (MADE). In addition, CSISAC members Jacqueline Souza from Internet Lab (Brazil), Wafa Ben Hassin (Access Now) and Corynne McSherry (EFF) have participated as well, taking part in the OECD Foresight Forum on Artificial Intelligence and the Internet and Jurisdiction Conference.

The 73rd session of the CDEP focused on the 2017-2018 plan of work, as a follow up of the 2016 OECD Ministerial Meeting on the Digital Economy held in Cancún (México). The proposed focus and topics for work showed consistency with the outcomes of this high level meeting, showing a stronger focus on societal outcomes that includes the explicit recognition of a growing inequality and the need to foster a more inclusive digital development. The CSISAC is happy to see this focus in the 2017-2018 work plan, as it reflects the goals of the Civil Society Forum 'Towards a more Inclusive, Equitable, Accountable Digital Economy'. However, the prevalence of the more econometric perspective introduces limitations to the capacity of the proposed approach for the OECD policy-making process to fully accomplish the Civil Society Goals.

For those reasons, the work of the CSISAC during the CDEP meetings focused on improving the alignment of the OECD work plan with the civil society objectives. With this purpose, the CSISAC has engaged in the analysis of the OECD drafts and working papers, engaging in the exchange of perspectives with the representatives of Member Countries, the OECD and the other stakeholders during the meeting. The CSISAC has been instrumental in introducing the notion of 'algorithmic transparency' as way to frame the policy-making needs connected to Artificial Intelligence; in improving the provisions on de-identification of the Recommendation on Health Data Governance to safeguard the protection of personal data and privacy; in reinforcing the focus on inclusion in the scope of the Horizontal Project on Digitalisation; and in having recognised the need for a multi-stakeholder approach in the new policy-making projects on the digital realm.

The CSISAC will continue working to foster the Civil Society Goals. In addition to engaging in the ongoing projects, the proposals to foster the alignment of the G20 and OECD digital agendas, and the involvement of the ISO/IEC do introduce new opportunities for CSISAC to achieve this objective. The CSISAC is actively searching for civil society groups, activists and experts to participate in preparation of the written comments to be submitted to the OECD, and also in the processes connected to the OECD digital agenda. Participants from the Latin America/ Caribbean, African and Asian regions are strongly encouraged to show their availability and interest to take part in the work of CSISAC.