IGF 2019 WS #212 Roadmapping the appropriate use of Digital Identities

Organizer 1: Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Organizer 2: Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Organizer 3: Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Speaker 1: CLAUDIO CAVALCANTI, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 2: Elonnai Hickok, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 3: Isaac Rutemberg, Technical Community, African Group

Policy Question(s): 

Considering digital identity as an infrastructure, what is it role on strengthening Internet Governance?
How balance digital identity and data protection?
How Internet Governance at the international level can contribute to design good digital identities strategies?

Relevance to Theme: Data governance is centered on the idea of personally identifiable information. Therefore, it is intrinsically linked to the question of how and when service providers identify individuals. Identification is the foundation over which different kinds of data generation take place. This is especially true in the over two-thirds of countries that have implemented Digital Identification Systems. A lot of the data held by both public and private sector entities in these countries is tied to the Digital ID.

In this sense, it is reasonable to state that the digital identity debate is becoming increasingly complex and fragmented. There are different types of Digital ID and different implementation strategies. Moreover, digital IDs can vary considerably vary in its conceptualization, legal and infrastructure aspects. They can be, for example, centralized or distributed. They can be based in interoperability standards and guarantee data sovereignty and user-friendliness by design. They can also be implemented through diverse approaches, such as individual incentives, top-down rational comprehensive and grassroots-based ones.

The design of Digital IDs also strike at the very root of the citizen-state relationship -i.e. the challenge of how to identify the individual while assuring her rights, duties and control over data. In the past 10 years alone, over 110 countries have initiated new Digital ID systems. At the national level, most countries are launching Digital Identification Strategies,, usually for the following purposes: sovereignty, economic development or social inclusion. Nonetheless, it comes with several trade offs. Therefore, data governance is fundamental during the whole identification cycle from the data collection, issuance, authentication, access to services and individual’s autonomy.

Relevance to Internet Governance: Digital identity is essential digital infrastructure for a modern digital state. It is used by both the public and private sector. Therefore, all internet-based platforms (including social media, banks, etc) will be using digital ID platforms in one way or the other. Therefore, digital ID is central to internet governance. Correspondingly, Internet Governance is important to ensure that people have better control over their personal data.

As an example of this mutual benefits is the question about how many data points the state can collect and still not be intrusive to the citizens. Individuals data from different sources can be used to identify someone through computational intelligence algorithms as well as to enforce self-assertion. It is directly associated with our “digital footprints” and are the basis of self-sovereign identities. The latter is another very embryonic topic that deserves attention and qualified debate.

Our purpose is to identify how identification stakeholders can work and collaborate in order to develop a sustainable digital transformation that is user-driven, fosters inclusion and guarantees user's privacy by default. Internet governance experts play a fundamental role in leading and shaping this debate as well as taking advantage of this phenomenon. If considered as an infrastructure, the coordination among regulatory bodies and public services provision, identity and telecommunication companies, civil society organizations and think tanks are crucial. This mainly with regards to ensure a citizen-driven and with privacy by design digital identity framework.

Format: 

Tutorial - Classroom - 30 Min

Description: Objectively, first we will present the findings of our yearly joint research focusing on in which cases a digital identity should and must be used, and what are the key components to bare in mind when making a decision during the design, development and implementation process. We will then simulate a decision-making process followed by a reflective open discussion on the potential outcomes.
With support of the philanthropic firm Omidyar Network, a joint research is being conducted between the Instituto de Tecnologia e Sociedade (ITS) in Brazil, the Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law (CIPIT) in Kenya, and the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) in India, involving experts from across the globe. These institutions are drawing the experiences in their respective regions, while creating a set of tools and knowledge that will be applicable in countries across the globe. In this sense, the first third of the workshop it will be oriented to present to the public the key findings through a quick presentation from each of the speakers and with practical focus. Other documents such as reports, policy briefings and podcasts will also be presented in advance through an online meeting by the beginning of November for the peers enrolled in the workshop.
In addition, we will make clear the role of each actor in elaborating, implementing and sustaining appropriate digital identities. To make it clear, we will divide into subtopics regarding the different sectoral uses of digital identity and how it is sustained by internet governance benchmarks. In parallel, we will present how digital identities have been used and perceived by the governments, the private sector and the third sector in diverse geographies. This with particular attention to the role of civil society organisations in ensuring the appropriate use of digital identity.
In the second section, we will encourage participants to simulate a decision-making process. Through the use of mobile or computer-based poll applications, we will make key questions when designing and implementing digital identities and ask the local and online participants to answer. This stage will last also 10 minutes.
In the last third, we will conclude the discussion by demonstrating potential scenarios of digital identities according to the decision made and foment an open discussion with the participants. The objective is to emphasize the need of a collaborative, resilient and flexible approach to digital identity strategies.

Expected Outcomes: Please provide the session's expected outcomes.
By the end of the workshop it is expected that the attendees will: critically understand the complexity and diversity of digital identification systems; understand the technological choices that are part of ID systems;
Have the ability to identify the policy components for a digital identity strategy; understand key principles of identification and how it is applied in reality; acquire a comprehensive perspective on the appropriate use of digital identity; put light on the role of digital identification systems in broader internet governance.

Discussion Facilitation: 

The workshop will be conducted ensuring that every participant will be interacting and engaging with the topic.
In addition, we will make clear the role of each actor in elaborating, implementing and sustaining appropriate digital identities. To make it clear, we will divide into subtopics regarding the different sectoral uses of digital identity and how it is sustained by internet governance benchmarks. In parallel, we will present how digital identities have been used and perceived by the governments, the private sector and the third sector in diverse geographies. This with particular attention to the role of civil society organisations in ensuring the appropriate use of digital identity.

Online Participation: 

Outcomes of our joint research such as reports, policy briefings and podcasts will be presented in advance through an online meeting by the beginning of November for the peers enrolled in the workshop. During the event we will provide the link for the decision-making simulation.

Proposed Additional Tools: Poll applications to collect answers from decisions made by participants and than displayed the answers accordingly and also open a forum for Q&A.

SDGs: 

GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequalities
GOAL 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions