IGF 2018 WS #124 Awareness by Design: On the road towards self-determination


Organizer 1: Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Organizer 2: Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Long Title: Awareness-by-design: Paving the road towards self-determination on the Internet The users’ right to be informed is a multifaceted problem that is related to a wide variety of points of interest for IGF. First, it can enhance trust and transparency in online platforms. Likewise, it can reinforce the self-determination of end users while considering them as agents for accountability. Second, it is tightly related to the empowerment of Internet users through online education (i.e. digital capacity building) and with the definition of standards for ethics on the Internet. Since awareness is an important variable in online decision-making (i.e. sharing or consuming digital information) it can impact directly on the dissemination of fake-news. Finally, it can affect (positively or negatively) the freedom of expression of Internet users. Tags: (i) Cyber-Security, Trust and Privacy (ii) Digital Inclusion and Accessibility (iii) Emerging Technologies (iv) Human Rights, Gender and Youth (v) Media and Content


Birds of a Feather - 90 Min


The goal of this “birds of a feather” session is to create an open forum and multi-stakeholder dialogue in which the attendees generate the majority of the discussion and knowledge sharing. The session will be organized as a facilitated and highly interactive dialogue through which each participant will have the opportunity to express their position. The moderator will ask the speakers a round of 3 key critical questions posed in the introduction to the session that will reflect the main goals of this session. The speakers will have 7 minutes each for reacting to the 3 critical questions (total of 35 minutes). We will use green cards to let all onsite and online participants signal their agreement and red to signal their divedissagrement with the 3 critical questions (40 minutes). We will ask during the discussions to justify their view points of convergence or divergence in relation to the questions. The use of cards will help (i) the workshop participants to express their personal opinion on the topics being treated, (ii) the speakers to acknowledge the opinion climate, and (iii) the moderator to directionate the discussion, accordingly. The speakers will share their point of view about risk awareness on the Internet and the users’ self-determination. Our speakers were selected to guarantee diversity of opinions regarding this issue in order to maximise the potential of the workshop. Concretely, we expect that the speakers (with the help of the moderator) will address this issue from an ethical, technical, legal and political perspective. In order to guarantee the plurality of voices among the workshop participants, the moderator will open the discussion to the audience (remote and in-situ) after the remarks of the speakers. Speakers: - Nicolas E. Diaz Ferreyra: Privacy researcher with focus on Social Media, Human-computer Interaction, Artificial Intelligence, and Usable Privacy and Security. Research fellow at University of Duisburg-Essen (Germany, Argentina). - Catherine Garcia van Hoogstraten: Data Governance, Internet Policy, Technology, Consultant, Advisor and Lecturer. The Hague University of Applied Sciences, Member of the Multi-stakeholder Forum on Disinformation, European Commission (The Netherlands, Perú). - Lousewies van der Laan: Oversight, Internet, Governance, Innovation, Democracy, Human Rights, European politics. ICANN, IMD Business School (The Netherlands). - Aimee van Wynsberghe: Researcher on ethics and technology, robotics, ethical design and implementation. Co-Director of Foundation for Responsible Robotics, Assistant Professor at Technical University of Delft (The Netherlands, Canada). - Facebook (to be confirmed)


The list of this workshop organizers and confirmed discussion facilitators achieves gender (3 women and 2 men), geographic, and stakeholder balance given that speakers come from all the UN regions (2 from GRULAC, 3 from WEOG); and they represent different stakeholder groups (Civil Society, Academia, Technical Community, Private Sector, IGO, and Government). They come from different backgrounds and hold different opinions. Thus, all policy perspectives are contained in this workshop. Further, online moderator and one speaker of this workshop are under 25 years old.

Long Title: Awareness-by-design: Paving the road towards self-determination on the Internet Whether consciously or unconsciously, we interact with risky situations in our daily lives. From jaywalking or smoking cigarettes, people evaluate the potential consequences of risky actions on a daily basis. Likewise, risk-awareness strategies are used every day to inform people about the risks of engaging with certain activities or consuming products or services. Today, the digital economy is based on the content that is shared and consumed (almost exclusively) by Internet users. However, when it comes to online platforms, users are not given much information about the risks of sharing or consuming information on the Internet (e.g. cyberstalking, sextortion, fake news, or online harassment). Moreover, when users give their consent for data collection and processing (i.e. when they accept the privacy policy), they receive very little (for not saying none) information about such risks. This lack of information modulates the perceived severity of online risks in favor of information disclosure and, consequently, in benefit of the service providers. In this workshop, we will discuss the users’ right to be informed on the risks of sharing and consuming information in online platforms. Scholars have suggested that users who are more aware of the consequences of online interaction are less likely to share private information and more likely to protect their privacy. Likewise, they suggest that in order to inspire risk reduction behaviors, risks should be perceived as controllable by the users. In line with this premise (i.e. more information, better decisions), this workshop proposes: 1. Discuss the role of awareness in online decision-making processes. Particularly, how does it influence information disclosure and consumption in online social networks. 2. Analyze the current state of risk communication in online platforms (i.e. legal frameworks and mechanisms of compliance). 3. Review the state of the art of user-centered technologies for risk communication and management (e.g. nutrition labels for fake news, nudges for privacy and cybersecurity). 4. Summarize achievements, gaps and challenges for shaping public policies oriented to guarantee the users’ self-determination on the internet. 5. Create a common agenda for multi-stakeholder collaborations.

Discussion Facilitation: 

Organizers will develop a list of thought-provoking questions to spur conversation. In addition, we will closely work with the remote moderator to ensure online participants are afforded equal opportunity to participate. As a birds of a feather session, we hope for a lively, perhaps confrontational discussion as our speakers engage as peers with the other participants around the table. The onsite moderator will sharpen contrasts between points of view, request examples from everyone in the room, and note points of convergence and divergence with respect to the 3 critical questions. The goal of this session is not necessarily to reach consensus on the nature of the problem or potential mitigations, but rather to elucidate a variety of frank points of view, and perceptions of what key internet stakeholders ought to be doing in response. This is not a panel, and as such all speakers will be looking to engage substantively with the others in the room.

Online Participation: 

The livestream for this event will be promoted in advance through the social networks of the organizer, as well as by discussants. Responses to the session’s key discussion topics will be solicited in advance from community members who will not be able to participate in the live discussion, such as those located in time zones not conducive to viewing the livestream. Questions and comments received will be shared with the Onsite Moderator for incorporation into the live discussion. During the live session, the Online Moderator will coordinate with remote participants to facilitate live audio participation in the discussion if technical media permit. In addition, non-audio based comments and questions received through social media or chat discussions in the virtual meeting space will be integrated into the discussion directly by the Online Moderator.

Contact Information

United Nations
Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

Villa Le Bocage
Palais des Nations,
CH-1211 Geneva 10

igf [at] un [dot] org
+41 (0) 229 173 678