The Challenges of Data Governance in a Multilateral World

12 Oct 2023 04:30h - 05:30h UTC

Event report

Speakers and Moderators

Table of contents

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Knowledge Graph of Debate

Session report

Luciano Mazza

In the G20, data governance was not discussed during the last two presidencies due to each country's unique concerns and priorities. The Indonesian and Indian presidencies did not directly address this subject area, as they focused on other issues relevant to their respective realities. It is worth noting that every country in the G20 tries to bring a perspective that aligns with its own reality and immediate concerns. India, for instance, discussed data governance in the context of the Digital Public Infrastructure (DPIs).

On the other hand, the upcoming Brazilian presidency has outlined four priority areas for the G20: universal and meaningful connectivity, artificial intelligence (AI), e-government, and information integrity. Brazil's internal discussions have shown that these areas are of primary importance and echo the concerns present in the international agenda. The emphasis on these topics reflects Brazil's immediate internal needs, signaling a positive sentiment towards addressing them globally.

One notable proponent of data governance is Luciano Mazza, who believes it is crucial and important. Mazza notes that data governance issues consistently appear in every single communication of the G20. This observation highlights the recognition within the G20 of the critical importance of data governance in achieving the goals related to industry, innovation, and infrastructure, as well as partnerships for sustainable development.

The analysis also reveals that digital governance is a broad and complex topic, making it challenging to fully cover within the duration of a G20 presidency. What may be sensitive and important to countries like Japan or Saudi Arabia may not hold the same significance for countries such as India, Indonesia, or Brazil. Each country has its own priorities and concerns in the realm of digital governance, emphasizing the need for flexibility in adopting digital policies that best suit their internal needs.

Furthermore, it is observed that digital elements are increasingly being incorporated into trade agreements. Some agreements explicitly identify themselves as digital agreements, indicating the growing recognition of the significance of digital aspects in facilitating international trade and fostering partnerships towards achieving the goals of sustainable development.

Lastly, Japan has emerged as a leader in conceptual discussions surrounding data flow and trust within the G20. Under Japan's leadership, considerable progress has been made in developing conceptual frameworks and understanding the importance of data flow and trust in the digital age. This demonstrates the active engagement and contributions of G20 countries towards shaping the future of data governance and trust in the global digital landscape.

In conclusion, the G20 has not extensively discussed data governance in recent presidencies, but the upcoming Brazilian presidency has identified it as a priority among other areas such as universal connectivity, AI, e-government, and information integrity. Luciano Mazza emphasizes the crucial importance of data governance, which is consistently recognized within the G20. Each country prioritizes digital governance based on internal needs, and digital elements are increasingly incorporated into trade agreements. Japan has played a leadership role in conceptual discussions on data flow and trust. These insights shed light on the complexities and dynamics surrounding data governance within the G20 and the diverse approaches taken by member countries.

Alexandre Barbosa

The discussion focused on the important role of social movements in data governance discussions, particularly the involvement of the homeless workers' movement in the technology sector. It highlighted that this movement recognizes the significance of technology and has established a data governance section within the sector. This indicates an increasing awareness among social movements of the need to participate in decision-making processes related to data governance.

Another key point raised in the discussion was the recognition of the contributions of micro-workers in data production. These individuals are responsible for labeling and cleaning data. To address this, the Oxford Internet Institute has launched a policy brief emphasizing the importance of considering the rights and working conditions of micro-workers in data governance. This highlights the need for a broader conversation that includes all stakeholders involved in data production.

Moreover, the discussion highlighted the potential limitations faced by social movements due to data traffic control by gatekeepers. It was argued that such control can restrict the ability of social movements to disseminate their messages and organize effectively. This issue underscores the importance of ensuring that gatekeepers do not hinder the activities and impact of social movements in the digital sphere.

Additionally, the discussion emphasized the importance of considering data governance in the "last mile," which refers to the final stage of data transmission where data is delivered to end-users. The role of multilateral organizations in adopting multi-level approaches to data governance in order to address challenges in the last mile was highlighted.

An advocate in the discussion strongly supports data governance models that prioritize cooperation, privacy, and the common good. These models have established principles regarding access, usage, and generation of data for the benefit of society as a whole. This highlights the need to move away from data governance models that solely focus on individual gain or profit and instead promote societal well-being and privacy protection.

In summary, the discussion highlighted the increasing recognition of the role of social movements and micro-workers in data governance discussions. It raised concerns about limitations imposed by gatekeepers and emphasized the importance of considering data governance in the last mile. Furthermore, it stressed the need for data governance models that prioritize cooperation, privacy, and the common good. By taking these factors into account, a more equitable and inclusive data governance framework can be created.

Veronica Arroyo

Upon analysing the arguments provided, it becomes evident that data governance structures vary across jurisdictions. The level of enforcement mechanisms for data privacy differs, with some jurisdictions implementing stringent measures while others adopt more flexible approaches. This discrepancy stems from the policies and priorities specific to each country.

Furthermore, it is argued that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) should form the foundation of policy development. The SDGs serve as a common purpose and language agreed upon by numerous countries and representatives. By integrating the SDGs into policy development, countries can determine areas where regulations need updating, ensuring that policies are aligned with the global goals.

Seeking commonalities within data governance and the SDGs is also highlighted as crucial for fostering the development of data transfers. Finding common ground facilitates the creation of recommendations to enhance data governance practices. Additionally, the alignment between data governance and the SDGs further promotes mutual progress and advancement.

Additionally, it is proposed that the climate action goals, one of the 17 SDGs, can influence the structure of data governance. When climate action is prioritised, adjustments can be made to data governance practices to align with this objective. This exemplifies how the SDGs can guide and shape the structure of data governance.

In conclusion, the analysis emphasises the diverse nature of data governance structures among jurisdictions. It underscores the importance of incorporating the SDGs into policy development for a shared purpose. The discovery of commonalities both within data governance and the SDGs enables the advancement of data transfers and governance practices. Furthermore, the incorporation of climate action goals within data governance highlights the influence and alignment between the SDGs and data governance.

Miriam Wimmer

Data governance in multilateralism requires the participation of multiple stakeholders, including multilateral organizations such as the G7, G20, the UN, and the OECD. These organizations have presented various proposals related to data governance and its role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions) and SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals).

When discussing data governance, it is important to consider multiple perspectives, including those of companies, nation states, and individual rights. The interests and concerns of businesses and countries should be taken into account in multilateral discussions on data transfers, while also respecting the rights of individuals. Striking the right balance ensures that data can be transferred effectively while still preserving privacy and protecting individual rights.

Moreover, it is crucial that interoperable mechanisms for international data transfers prioritize the fundamental right to data protection. Brazil, for instance, is currently engaged in discussions regarding regulations on international data transfers. These conversations focus on achieving interoperability while also safeguarding data protection rights. The aim is to create data protection mechanisms that can effectively provide necessary safeguards, regardless of the data's location. This commitment ensures that data is adequately protected, regardless of where it is transferred or stored.

In conclusion, data governance in multilateralism necessitates the active participation of multiple stakeholders and organizations. Proposals put forth by multilateral organizations such as the G7, G20, the UN, and the OECD shape discussions on data governance and transfers. Considering the perspectives of companies, nation states, and individual rights is essential in designing data governance frameworks. Additionally, the development of interoperable mechanisms for international data transfers must prioritize the fundamental right to data protection. Efforts, like those in Brazil, strive to strike a balance between effective data transfer and the protection of privacy and individual rights.

Gaurav Sharma

India has received praise for its positive approach to technology and digitization. The country recently passed the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, demonstrating its commitment to safeguarding personal data. Additionally, India recognizes the economic potential of digitization and actively promotes it as a driver of growth. The importance of Digital Public Infrastructure in facilitating technological advancements and promoting innovation is also highlighted.

On the topic of data governance, a neutral sentiment is expressed. It is argued that data governance should prioritize norms and values that enable interoperability and data transfers. This requires standardized practices and regulations to ensure seamless sharing and exchange of data across different platforms and systems. The need for efficient governance structures that operate effectively with datasets is also emphasized.

There is also a call for greater participation and collaboration from the Global South in shaping data governance. The argument stresses the importance of the Global South, representing countries outside of the traditional economic powerhouses, having a voice in defining norms and implementing definitions in various legal contexts. Collaboration is seen as essential to address diverse needs and perspectives.

In conclusion, India's progress in embracing technology and digitization, as demonstrated by the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, is applauded. However, it is crucial that data governance prioritizes norms and values that enable interoperability and data transfers. Furthermore, greater collaboration and participation from the Global South are needed to ensure inclusive and effective data governance frameworks. Balancing technological advancements with responsible and collaborative governance is essential in the digital age.

Yoichi Iida

The free flow of information across borders is vital for promoting effective Internet governance, as highlighted by the G7 Presidency in 2016. This importance was further recognized during the G20 discussions in 2019, when the Japanese government proposed the concept of data free flow with trust. This indicates a growing recognition among world leaders of the need to enable seamless information exchange across national boundaries for a more open and connected global internet.

However, it is vital to acknowledge that different jurisdictions have diverse frameworks for data and AI governance due to variations in historical, socio-economic, and legal contexts. To ensure smooth data flow and effective deployment of AI technology, countries should aim for interoperability and coherence in their governance approaches. This will facilitate greater collaboration and knowledge sharing, enabling nations to collectively address challenges and seize opportunities in the data-driven digital era.

Maintaining a human-centric approach is crucial in discussions about data flow and AI. The term 'human centricity' was even used instead of 'democracy' during G20 discussions, highlighting the importance of prioritising the well-being and interests of individuals in data and AI policies. By placing people at the center of these discussions, governments can ensure that the development and use of data and AI solutions align with the goal of achieving decent work and economic growth, as outlined in SDG 8.

The G7 governments strongly advocate for a multi-stakeholder approach in Internet governance. Involving diverse stakeholders, including governments, civil society, academia, and the private sector, in decision-making processes helps harness collective expertise and foster a more inclusive and democratic approach to shaping Internet governance policies. This approach was prominently featured during the G7 Presidency in 2016.

Better data governance and improved data flow are essential not only at the national level but also across borders. The digital economy is inherently open and cross-border in nature, requiring discussions on data governance from social and economic perspectives rather than purely political ones. Governments working toward better data governance and facilitating data flow domestically and internationally can unlock the full potential of the digital economy and enhance collaboration towards achieving SDG 9 on industry, innovation, and infrastructure, as well as SDG 17 on partnerships for the goals.

Moreover, there is a preference for using the term "Information Integrity" instead of "Cybersecurity" to avoid politicisation. By focusing on information integrity, the aim is to prioritize the protection and accurate dissemination of information while preventing malicious activities in the digital space.

In conclusion, facilitating the free flow of information across borders is crucial for effective Internet governance. It is important to aim for interoperability in data and AI governance, maintain a human-centric approach, promote a multi-stakeholder approach in decision making, and strive for better data governance and improved data flow domestically and internationally. By adopting these approaches and focusing on information integrity, governments can navigate the complex landscape of data governance, AI deployment, and cybersecurity, leading to a more accessible and secure digital ecosystem.

audience

The discussion centres around the concept of "digital sovereignty" and its potential impact on exceptions to free data flow requirements. One perspective suggests that the use of data and the digital sovereignty debate can support the implementation of these exceptions. The argument is that digital sovereignty allows countries to have control over their own digital assets and data, which can be crucial in certain situations, such as protecting national security or privacy. This perspective highlights the need to balance the ideals of free data flow with the importance of maintaining control and sovereignty over data.

On the other hand, there is a viewpoint that argues for more debate and refinement of the term "digital sovereignty" before effectively incorporating it into these contexts. This perspective acknowledges the complexities and nuances of digital sovereignty, suggesting that a deeper understanding and clearer definitions are necessary to ensure its effective use. The argument here is that without a well-defined concept of digital sovereignty, any attempts to apply it to exceptions to free data flow could result in confusion or unintended consequences.

Both perspectives maintain a neutral stance, refraining from taking a strong position either for or against the use of digital sovereignty in the implementation of exceptions to free data flow requirements. This neutrality suggests that further discussion and examination are needed to fully understand the implications and potential benefits or drawbacks of incorporating the concept of digital sovereignty in this context.

Overall, the analysis highlights the ongoing debate and complexity surrounding the concept of digital sovereignty and its role in shaping data governance. It underscores the need for a deeper understanding, refinement, and consensus on the term before its practical application in relation to free data flow exceptions. This analysis contributes to the broader discussion on data protection, policy-making, and international agreements, emphasizing the importance of considering all viewpoints and refining concepts to ensure effective implementation.

Moderator

During the discussion on data governance, several speakers highlighted the importance of adopting a multistakeholder approach and fostering collaboration among different stakeholders. Japan's efforts in promoting inclusive internet governance on global platforms like the G7 and G20 were praised. In 2016, Japan focused on the free flow of information across borders during its G7 Presidency. It also initiated international discussions on AI governance in the same year. During its G20 Presidency in 2019, Japan proposed the concept of data free flow with trust. Notably, Japan used the term "human centricity" instead of "democracy" within the G20 framework to accommodate a wider range of partners. Japan is actively working to promote data flow while safeguarding privacy rights and human rights.

India sees technology and digitisation as drivers of its economic growth. The country has introduced the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, which regulates the processing of digital personal data, whether collected online or offline within the country. India aims to ensure that its digital strategies and data governance frameworks are inclusive, transparent, secure, and aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

One speaker stressed the importance of considering data stakeholders, values, and governance structures. Effective data governance requires efforts focused on data sourcing, accumulation, categorisation, and organisation. The speaker also highlighted the need to address issues of sovereignty and dependency on digital infrastructures in data processing.

Collaboration and participation from the Global South were emphasised as crucial for developing a collaborative approach to data governance. Additionally, social movements and civil society were seen as essential in the discourse on multistakeholderism.

The labour behind data production and the inclusion of workers in the data economy should not be overlooked. Micro-workers, who label and clean data used in datasets, play a significant role in data production. The importance of this discussion was highlighted by the Oxford Internet Institute.

Special attention was given to the cloud economy and data governance in the last mile. A significant portion of data traffic relies on gatekeepers, and multilateral organizations should base their approaches on concrete experiences.

The alignment of digital rights organizations with traditional social movements was seen as a way to strengthen rights claims. Bridging the gap between these entities can fortify the protection of rights.

The conference also discussed the impact of the data economy on different populations and the need for appropriate protection measures. It was recognised that different populations experience the data economy in various ways, necessitating inclusive data governance frameworks.

The environmental impact of digital technologies and their relationship to the SDGs was emphasized as an important topic for further exploration. The conference highlighted the need to examine the environmental consequences of digital technologies and their role in achieving climate action goals.

The diversity among jurisdictions in terms of data governance was acknowledged, with some jurisdictions having strong enforcement mechanisms for data privacy while others adopt more flexible approaches. However, the Sustainable Development Goals serve as a common language to inform the design of global data governance structures.

The facilitation of data transfers between different regions, such as China, Europe, and the US, was discussed. The speakers advocated for focusing on commonalities to foster data transfers and promote interoperability between different frameworks.

The upcoming G20 summit in Brazil was highlighted as an opportunity for the Brazilian government to promote its vision and agenda on data governance. The importance of the G20's focus on data governance and information integrity was acknowledged.

Miriam Wimmer, a commissioner at the Brazilian National Data Protection Authority, shed light on the challenges of data governance in a multilateral world. She emphasized the need to consider different proposals and viewpoints on data governance, taking into account the interests of companies, nation-states, and individuals.

The conference also addressed the protection of children's and young people's rights in data governance frameworks. The discussion revolved around ensuring privacy and mental health within data governance structures.

In conclusion, the conference highlighted the importance of a multistakeholder approach to data governance and collaboration among different stakeholders. Japan's efforts in promoting inclusive internet governance were commended, while India's focus on inclusive and transparent data governance for economic growth was noted. The role of data stakeholders, values, and governance structures was emphasized. Other topics discussed included sovereignty in data processing, collaboration in the Global South, the inclusion of workers in the data economy, and the environmental impact of digital technologies. The SDGs were seen as driving global data governance, and the facilitation of data transfers was explored. The upcoming G20 summit in Brazil was seen as an opportunity to promote data governance, and the challenges of data governance in a multilateral world were acknowledged. Overall, effective data governance, collaboration, and inclusive strategies were highlighted as crucial in the digitalized world.

Speakers

AB

Alexandre Barbosa

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Gaurav Sharma

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Luciano Mazza

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MW

Miriam Wimmer

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Moderator

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Veronica Arroyo

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Yoichi Iida

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audience

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