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.
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.