The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Fourteenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Berlin, Germany, from 25 to 29 November 2019. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> ELIZABETH STUART: All right. Good morning, everyone. Can I encourage people who are sitting to the outside of the room, can I gently encourage you to come and sit at the desk, around the tables here so that we can feel like we are having a slightly more intimate conversation? Intimacy will be a little bit of A challenge in this room. Welcome everyone to this morning's session where we are going to be discussing data governance for Developing Countries. My name is Elizabeth Stuart. And I'm the executive director of the Pathways for Prosperity Commission. We are a two‑year commission based at the University of Oxford looking at how Developing Countries can use digital technologies to deliver inclusive growth. We are co‑chaired by Melinda Gates, by Sri Mulyani Indrawati and Strive Masiyiwa. And I am delighted to have you all here today.
Before I introduce my panelists let me say a couple of words about the process. If you are Tweeting this, and obviously we would encourage you to Tweet it, please use the hashtag [email protected] If you are watching this online and good morning or good afternoon, depending where you are, very early in the morning to some people, we would be delighted to take questions from the online audience. You have two ways of sending us your questions. You can Tweet at us with the hashtag #digitaldiplomacy, #capitaldigitaldiplomacy or put a message in the chat box using zoom. If it fits with the flow of where the conversation is heading we will put it up on the screen.
What we are going to be talking about today I can't imagine to anyone in this room it will be news to you, that digital technologies are transforming economies, but also it is Developing Countries who stand to lose or gain the most by them. This is really an opportunity, this is a watershed moment for Developing Countries if they are able to use and take advantage of the opportunity of the digital technologies this could completely transform their economic development and their economic ‑‑ their development trajectory, but equally this could go wrong. This could be something that entrenches and increases inequalities. And it is also going to be data governance that's going to be the thing that makes the difference. If we can get the data governance right, that is going to be what opens up these opportunities for Developing Countries. In our work at the Pathways Commission we have written this report, Digital Diplomacy, we have looked at the current state of regulation, policy making around data governance. And we have shown very clearly that it is entirely dominated by the concerns, the priorities, the needs of advanced economies if you want to use that term, and surprisingly the resulting frameworks that emerge from that are let's say at best suboptimal for Developing Countries. They don't fit Developing Countries. And that's what we are going to explore in this session, how do developing country policymakers deal with this dilemma that they are faced with these frameworks which don't fit them yet, that don't seem to be any alternatives, can developing country policymakers balance the need to govern their data, to manage emerging risks but also make sure that innovation is supported in their countries.
So to explore these questions, I'm delighted to be joined by to my far right Kamal Bhattacharya who is one of our commissioners. He is also the CEO of an ed tech company Mojo chat. Welcome, Kamal. Next to Kamal is Mariana Valente who is the director of the Internet lab in South Palo, in Brazil. And she works on policy and regulation.
And next to me delighted to have Fabrizio Hochschild who is the special advisor to the UN Secretary‑General for responsibility for overseeing the UN implementation of the high level panel on digital cooperation which I should say Melinda Gates was also co‑Chair of. She has been very busy in this space this year. Let me turn first to Kamal, if I may. Can I ask you to share some of these finds from this Digital Diplomacy report. What were some of the solutions that are being suggested?
>> KAMAL BHATTACHARYA: Sure. Thanks, Liz. Welcome, everyone. Good morning. My name is Kamal Bhattacharya. I'm very impressed by the way with this translation thing here. They usually suck, but this one is really good. See it says they usually suck but this one is really good. That's really cool.
So I shouldn't swear. I should and see if it is really good.
>> (Off microphone)
>> KAMAL BHATTACHARYA: And I have to get more comfortable to swear but, you know, God knows.
>> ELIZABETH STUART: We can move on to swearing later on in the session.
>> KAMAL BHATTACHARYA: In any case you should definitely pick up the great paper here Digital Diplomacy. It was a very interesting piece of research at the Pathways Commission has done. I want to point out sort of three broad issues that came out of this research study. The first one is it is really around the importance of economic development for every policymaker and developing economies. Obviously policymakers right now in developing economies are mostly concerned about how to make use of digital technologies and ICT at large to drive economic development to drive the Development Agendas. It is, of course ‑‑ so jobs and skills are top priorities, what I think ‑‑ where we have a lot of confusion is how do you use the current trends and technology to actually drive economic growth. And at the same time have the right kind of regulations in place that support that locally at a country level or the regional level without necessarily overregulating it to such an extent that, especially small businesses can thrive. Realistically speaking it comes to the second point, how do you implement these regulations. And the truth is, of course, that today the regulations are on data. They are monopolized by the United States, by China and by the EU. And the EU, for example, you know, GDPR is, you know, an interesting starting point. But I think what is happening in Developing Countries right now is a little bit of a misconception which is if you ‑‑ if you tell people that data that pertains to local citizens has to be processed in countries, the expectation is that the big multi‑national corporations will come in to the countries and set up data centers to do business there. That unfortunately is going to backfire because it is nonsense from a technology perspective, and I don't think it is very meaningful from a regulatory perspective either.
And Brazil who are kind of pushing back on this, but I think it is completely beyond the point and the challenge is much deeper. And I think from a Democracy perspective the challenge is around our future understanding of the word consent and whether consent is even a viable leader notion of the future. We have to solve a much harder problem but, you know, this is, of course, then to the third point which is are developing economies, especially in Africa where you have a lot of countries with very small markets even in a position to create their own governance and compliance mechanisms. The answer is probably not. And the answer will always be some kind of a copy and paste to whatever model is deemed the right one. So it could be the Chinese model. It could be the European model. Now that doesn't make the model right for example for Kenya, for Nigeria. These kinds of themes probably require us, require developing economies to form local clusters both from an economic integration perspective but also from a regulatory perspective around data to understand what is the right regulatory framework, for example, for East Africa, West Africa. For all of these different regions what are the future visions for how to regulate these three things. So I think these were some of the three things that stand out. I encourage you all to read the report. I think it has a lot more very interesting data on this particular topic.
>> ELIZABETH STUART: Thank you, Kamal. And just to add to that, it was based on a survey just over a hundred policymakers, think tanks and private sector in Developed and Developing Countries. There is some primary data in there as well.
Let me turn, Mariana, to you. Kamal was just saying pushback from Brazil, we were just talking a little bit about kind of contemporary developments in Brazil around this. How does this resonate, how does what Kamal said and what our Digital Diplomacy report says, how does that resonate with your experience in Brazil? How are you ‑‑ how are you realizing that power and balance? What does that look like from a MIC perspective?
>> MARIANA VALENTE: Thank you, Elizabeth. Thank you, Kamal, for setting the stage for this discussion. Well, I think one of the things that's most interesting in the Digital Diplomacy paper is to show how there is a lack of evidence‑based policies in many of the Developing Countries. And that's the case in Brazil as well. And it often happens that some of the solutions found elsewhere like in Europe or the United States is just understood as policy that's also going to work locally, but I think even more seriously than that solutions that are being found in international law and becoming binding to Developing Countries are not necessarily also happening in the interest of the Developing Countries.
So one of the examples for that is international Intellectual Property which since the '90s has been going through a tendency of maximization and that has been happening in different levels. So, for example, the first big example was the TRIPS Agreement at the WTO, but then trade agreements as well. All these negotiations they have been leading us to higher Intellectual Property levels under the argument that that's going to be good for development necessarily. And usually there is a bias in the discussion because it will be said that Developed Countries have better development in digital technologies because of Intellectual Property. When you look at the history actually it hasn't been actually like that. And it has been the case that in Brazil and in many Developing Countries these very high levels of Intellectual Property protection they have been hindering education and research, for example, which, of course, are very essential to development but also technology transfers.
And one thing that's happening at the international level now which feels very concerning is that in different trade agreements or in the e‑commerce Treaty that's being discussed at the WTO there is discussion on further protecting algorithms and source codes with trade secrets, which is a kind of Intellectual Property.
And that's starting an even high level of protection whereas what we should be speaking of, of course, should be open and free software if we are really thinking of how to make data work for Developing Countries, right? That's one thing. And I think another thing that's really important when we are thinking of international policy making but also policy making in the North that ends up having results in Developing Countries. We also have to think that when we are speaking of digital technology extra territoriality becomes de facto standard for many policies. Even in the field of Intellectual Property, for example, the United States established DMCA and because most platforms are headquartered in the United States all countries in the world are able to be ‑‑ maybe are affected by the DMCA. That's the case in Brazil. You can file a DMCA report from Brazil. Digital Millennium Copyright Act, it is an Act from 1998. The United States determines the regime through which a platform has to comply with copyright notices in order to become liable for third party content. And what I was saying is that we are able to use this U.S. regulation directly from Brazil to take down content from international platforms, especially U.S. based. And that leads us to the question as to how far are we able to really regulate intermediary liability from Brazil concerning our own interests in this area, right? Brazil had a very interesting model of intermediary liability set in place in 2013. Maybe you have heard of the Marcos view.
>> ELIZABETH STUART: You might want to explain what that is.
>> MARIANA VALENTE: The Internet Bill of Rights. It is considering very interesting because it is a law that centers around citizens' rights instead of criminalizing citizens which was more or less the standard of the discussion by then in Brazil and in many different countries. And it sets a few standards for citizens but also for the private sector and also aimed at thinking of developing the digital sector through guaranteeing a few protections for companies and for citizens. Anyways, there is a good discussion to be made on intermediary liability and how that affects the development of digital technologies in Developing Countries. But the fact is that the intermediary liability regime developed in the U.S. is being directly enforced in Brazil if we are just able to use that from our round. So I'll leave it there.
>> ELIZABETH STUART: Okay. But we will come back to that because I mean it is fascinating that this is a live policy discussion as we are talking right now.
Let me turn to you, you have the not inconsiderable task of overseeing implementation of at least some of the or at least the UN's contribution to the recommendations that were made in the high level panel final report earlier this year. Can you talk to us ‑‑ so the recommendations as they relate to this question of data governance, what realistically can the UN do to help resolve the kind of dilemma that just heard Mariana and Kamal talking about?
>> FABRIZIO HOCHSCHILD: Thank you very much. As you pointed out in the beginning we are a little bit joined at the hip because we share a co‑Chair, Melinda Gates, and I think that also ensured that the work done by the high level panel was very complimentary and hopefully mutually reinforcing of the work that you are doing. But given the intimacy of this small room being among friends can you indulge me for a minute, I share Kamal's fascination with this tool. So you'll know this, but I just want to try this out, does everyone know what a tongue twister is? Does anyone know? Let's say this, she sells seashells on the seashore.
>> Oh, my God.
>> FABRIZIO HOCHSCHILD: Let's try a bit faster. She sells seashells on the seashore. Now this ‑‑ I must say this is another Google demind beating goal moment. Technology triumphs again over humanity. And that's what this debate is a little bit about I'm afraid. I think we very much share the analysis. What we are seeing is that rules adopted in the more Developed Countries de facto are governing processes in less Developed Countries in ways that often are unconducive to their needs. And I mentioned this already, the U.S. Cloud Act, the EU, GDPR, the European Commissions Convention or European Council of Europe's Convention 108. And these are all approaches to data that are designed for the needs of the North but de facto are imposed on the South without adequate recognition of issues around Intellectual Property as Mariana explained. Without a recognition of the particular development needs of the South. And without recognition of the value of data and the potential for data mining from the South.
As Elizabeth said in her opening remarks this is particularly critical because the issue of how countries or I would add the speed of which countries adopt connectivity will be critical to development. The fact is that the trend at the moment is more towards inequality than towards equality. Connectivity in the least ‑‑ in the 47 Least Developed Countries is under 20%. So how with those sorts of figures can you imagine it becoming a boost for development. The truth is with those sorts of figures compared to connectivity levels in the European Union, for example, of well over 90%, in China of close to 90% those who don't ‑‑ who have around 20% or under are literally left behind.
In the place I worked immediately being appointed in New York, the Central African Republic the connectivity was literally around 5% or 6%. So how can you talk of the Internet being a boost to economic development when your connectivity levels of 5% or 6%. What it, in fact, means as other countries race ahead, the distance to catch up becomes evermore insurmountable and how it is handled is one indicator of that. What can we do about it? I don't think the panel goes in to detail on data management but what it makes very clear is there needs to be much more equity in say around what everybody, the people in the Developed World are the first to argue should be a global tool. And I think there is a fundamental contradiction we need to overcome between this notion that the North is the first to uphold that we want to maintain Internet and the benefits it brings as a truly global tool. We don't want to see walls erected in cyberspace. We don't want to see a fragmentation of the net and yet at the same time we have a very limited number of countries around the table when it comes to rule setting and Government. Those two are mutually incompatible.
I think to the extent that a greater number of countries are now brought in to the debate, the reaction will be more and more to have sort of knee jerk sometimes unsophisticated reactions of protectionism that can range from trying to erect cyberspace, walls in cyberspace, to simply shutting down the Internet. And, of course, that's highly undesirable. But not being at the table contributes to the sentiment that can lead to such extreme measures.
So I think the way ‑‑ that what we discussed at length in the panel is there is also a need for capacity building at a regional and subregional level to make it possible for more engagement in international fora. And that's where the idea came from that is one of the central ideas in the panel report of regional help desks and some of us why regional isn't ‑‑ wouldn't it be much more cost effective to boost existing global efforts. And there are a number of efforts in the World Bank to the ITU and many others to build capacity in countries.
And we welcome the report technologies and welcome those efforts, but says that really not to scale. And they are not localized enough. And that hence the idea of having regional capacity building mechanisms that could take in to account in a much more nuanced, sophisticated and sensitive way, particular country concerns, particular community concerns, particular regional concerns and help empower countries, communities and regions to play a role in the global debate. You know, this will see ‑‑ this is one of the recommendations in the report that has raised a few eyebrows and that we are having some difficulty in finding champions for.
So it is not entirely clear whether this recommendation will flourish. But we believe both boosting efforts at capacity building and policy formulation and doing it at a regional or even subregional level is the best way to address the sorts of concerns that are so brilliantly analyzed by the pathways to prosperity report.
>> ELIZABETH STUART: Excellent. Thank you so much. As you say there is clear synergies between this idea of regional help desks and regional collaboration, cooperation as being a negotiating modality that looks like the most promising option for Developing Countries at the moment. So we can come back to all of these issues later, but I want to open it up to the floor now for questions about any of these topics. I'll take questions in a couple of groups. Could I ask you to give your ‑‑ use the microphone and give your name and your organization and if you could keep your questions succinct please. We'd like to have time for a couple of rounds. Lady over here.
>> Can you hear me now? My name is Ingrid. I am heading an initiative called international digital policy. My only background is in globalization and political public communication. When we talk about these statistics in Developing Countries I think it would be good to think about the tremendous drive of young citizens in countries. So the 20% rate of having mobile phone access is important, of course, but it is slightly misleading because in these countries we have young people, 50% of the population of young people. And they are the drivers of the economy in the future. And I think perhaps it would be good to also think about policy frameworks for these young citizens, how they can participate in the global Digital Economy in the future. From my own academic work and from my experience, I have worked with the OACD and other organizations. There is not enough emphasis on this. Cities in thee countries, they are hubs for digital and a bit more focus on city development. I have just research in Darussalam and how it is emerging as a local center. That's one. And the second comment I would like to make ‑‑
>> ELIZABETH STUART: Can you make another question rather than a comment?
>> In today's world consumers and citizens merge and we don't have enough understanding how political public communication or Democratic public spheres are constituted in Developing Countries. We have this wonderful hub in the Western World but nothing similar for other countries and that's often misleading. That's why they are labeled as authoritarian countries, et cetera. That's it.
>> ELIZABETH STUART: Excellent. Let me take a couple of other questions. The gentleman here.
>> Thank you very much. My name is Jimson from Nigeria, former Chair of the African ICT Alliance. Well, I just want to correct an impression I had when Kamal was speaking saying the idea of localization or policy and localization of data that to bringing data center establishment country that is nonsense. That is from big companies. Well, I don't think these are correct because in Nigeria the data protection regulation circulates a lot of local activities. They are local entrepreneurs that are setting up data centers in‑house. And, you know, the Nigerian economy has 13.8% contribution from ICT. And penetration is close to 60%. Broadband is about 33%. So just to correct that, if big players don't come in, the local players up to the game and that links up to the idea of the need for us to have a global framework when it comes to data governance, we have as I said there is Nigerian data protection regulation right now which kind of dovetails from its neighbor GDPR. So with some possible authorization for data to be hosted overseas. Okay?
So it has to be currently synergy. A question I want to ask to Mariana regarding Brazil concerning intermediary liability, are they really liable? Is there a law that makes them liable in Brazil? And if I may ask the last one, special person, so thank you for the brief, but the question is how do we really move towards ensuring that we can have a global framework that would now have to streamline the issue of that that governance regime across the world. At that top level to have a great deal, thank you.
>> ELIZABETH STUART: Thank you. Could you repeat your name? I'm sorry I missed your name.
>> Yeah, Jimson.
>> ELIZABETH STUART: Excellent questions. Thank you.
>> Elizabeth, they are sort of comments but I think it is useful to bring some additional commentary before we take some of the discussions. I am going to ‑‑ but they are also questions because I think they respond ‑‑
>> ELIZABETH STUART: We will imagine a question mark at the end.
>> I just wanted to respond to some of the kind assumptions about the conversation that we are having and the sort of references to evidence‑based policy and even the important reference to the lack of connectivity. But just to say that, you know, the information that we have within the ITU system and that is extremely sort of ‑‑
>> ELIZABETH STUART: Did you introduce yourself?
>> I probably didn't. My name is Allison Gilwald. I am from ICT Research Africa, Nelson Mandela School of Governance. We have been working over decades with various bodies within the region, various governments within the region and, of course, within these regional economic communities currently working on Digital Economy model law with the Parliamentary Forum and data protection, et cetera. So it is kind of in this context that I want to speak about some of the assumptions that cause some of these initiatives to fail because there is a kind of normative conflict. There is a normative dilemma. Kind of assumptions of democracy, assumptions of competitive markets and consumptions of not any connectivity but also what connectivity means post‑connectivity issues that really affect the ability to get economic growth, et cetera.
So I mean the first thing I want to say we speak about the need for evidence‑based policy. We don't know where we are in terms of the SDG ICT targets. So all we know we are not going to reach them. We have no idea. Supply side data that's used within the UN system doesn't measure prepaid mobile markets which are predominate markets in these countries. And it can't do the kind of policy disaggregation that you need. We have very limited data and I do feel obliged to make the point on the continent the moment is around sort of hype around the industrial revolution and technology that is actually distracted policymakers and implementers from the challenges they have around broadband plans and things. And everyone is now sort of focusing on the disruption of Artificial Intelligence, donors. All governments now have a fourth industrial revolution commission. Everyone has forgotten about as you point out the vast majority of Africans are not connected. But I just wanted to make ‑‑ sorry, the other point because of importance in terms of getting economic growth and that, is that the connectivity is obviously a big challenge in large parts of the continent.
Many, many of the countries actually have, you know, 80, 90% at least 3G connectivity. But actually as was pointed out far less than 20% connectivity. Some of the poster children multi‑level agencies and banks, like Rwanda strong supply side measures with less than 10% Internet penetration and biggest gender gap of 60%. So tell you there is a lot more than supply side driven connectivity issues and in the data environment the real challenge in this digital inequality paradox is not just as we connect people, leaving people behind but the kind of connectivity that we are getting means that it is a big gap between those people who are barely online a few minutes to get data and who are involved.
Before we get in to the questions of what's working in terms of, you know, data governance at a continental and regional level and working with the EU, but also the real challenges around multi‑ level endeavors in this regard that are ‑‑ basically failing because of these normative junctures that we are seeing on the continent.
>> ELIZABETH STUART: Thank you for that useful and sobering corrective. What's the reality on the ground that we are talking about? So that was very helpful. Let me turn to ‑‑ in terms of picking up on these questions, let me turn to Fabrizio. Maybe you can pick up on Jimson's point and Allison. Let's talk about the role of the U.S. How literally can we do this when you are the role that the U.S. is playing? What's the roadmap to solve this and what can the UN do?
>> FABRIZIO HOCHSCHILD: Thank you. I think both Ingrid and Allison made a point about the lack of reliable statistics. And this is one of the recommendations also of the high level panel that we need to get much more detailed data about exactly where exclusion is happening. And I would agree with Ingrid's point if we look at youth there is probably a higher proportion of youth through prepaid mechanisms corrected in urban areas of Least Developed Countries than the statistics I quoted reflect. Let's recall in the Least Developed Countries 65% of the population is rural and connectivity seldom goes out of urban areas.
And I think to look at connectivity statistics on its own is also, you know, a little bit misleading. Again coming back to the Central African Republic because I happen to serve there, the literacy rate among women and that is a reliable statistic unlike some of the others is 24%. So you can get 90% connectivity and you will still be leaving 80% of women behind. Electricity connectivity which again is a reliable statistic is around 13%. So yes, you can have solar panels, et cetera. We need to look more wholistically at needs. Current trends is widening the Gulf between the North and the South between the Least Developed and the Most Developed Countries. And that needs to be addressed in one part of that as both Allison and Ingrid highlighted is getting a much better grip on the figures and breakdown.
In terms of Jimson's point how can we address this. It won't come as a surprise, the UN is the Forum to have these discussions. If we want truly universal instruments we need to truly have universal fora and that is the United Nations. I do think it also has to be a multi‑stakeholder discussion. And that in the United Nations is not always easy, but this IGF is one UN sanctioned body that's multi‑stakeholder. But we need also to drive towards concrete outcomes which this body still lacks and hence also the recommendations the panel for IGF path.
I mean I don't want to address the stances of any individual country. But I think, you know, if enough smaller countries take up the button of arguing for greater inclusivity, you know, I think there ‑‑ that their voice will be heard. I don't think anybody in a hugely interconnected world can afford to ignore two‑thirds of the world. So I think it is about better coordination of voices among Developing Countries around their interests in this domain. And we'd hope very much that the IGF can be a little bit repurposed to help facilitate that.
>> ELIZABETH STUART: Excellent. And should just add that we ‑‑ as the pathways for prosperity commission we wrote a report a few months ago called digital lives where we looked at these issues of inclusion and starting to move towards, think about some sort of possible solutions and business models not just connectivity but relevant appropriate connectivity in a way that's useful for people who are currently excluded. Let me come to because I like the way you frame this dilemma and data localization which is one of those balancing act which is very complex in this space. And you had a specific question for Mariana and Brazil.
>> MARIANA VALENTE: Yes, I think that Jimson's question was regarding liability for intermediaries. And he was asking if we have a liability regime in place and if companies are liable at all, they are. But the way this was discussed when this law that was mentioning the Internet Bill of Rights was enacted in 2013 it was in a way so as to take values in to consideration, balance, different values in the digital environment. So what got enacted was a regime in which most of the case's platforms are liable after a court order ordering takedown of content. And that was at least at the moment worldwidely celebrated as being a regime that takes care of Freedom of Expression. The issue is that at that moment it was impossible to come to terms also with the entertainment industry to have a regime for copyright.
When we speak of copyright other issues come forth which is a balance in different industries and how you want to use that kind of policy to develop different industries in your country, right? So like the entertainment industry or the tech industry and for that we don't have a rule. And when I said that the U.S. rule is being directly applied to Brazil it also has to do with that. There is no specific rule for copyright infringement. And we have mostly been using the U.S. framework because of platforms.
Can I pick up on what Allison was saying because it really resonated to me as well? That the point really is discussing different policies for the Developing World. And I think if I got right what you are saying, I completely agree that at least in Brazil but I also think international fora connectivity has become not so much of a sexy issue anymore, right? We are discussing many issues like regulating Artificial Intelligence, for example, right? Or disinformation which are all very relevant, and I don't think there is like a scale of relevance in terms of Developing Countries, like we only have to be discussing connectivity because we don't have enough connectivity. But it really feels that when we are discussing policies for the Developing World we would have to take a more wholistic approach and take all these issues in to consideration, not leave connectivity behind because it is clear that this is like in the basis of everything that we are discussing here. And then not just connectivity but other infrastructural issues. So, for example, many of the services in Brazil they are not available to everybody because of payment systems. So the bold plans, right, which don't just take in to account like specific sectorial considerations.
>> ELIZABETH STUART: Yes. Absolutely we would agree. And we call these the digital foundations. So what are the things that you absolutely need to have in place and then you need to build your data governance regime on top of that, but no point having a data governance regime if you don't have these basic things in place because there is not going to be anything to govern.
Kamal, let me turn to you and feel free to pick up on any of the questions, but I wanted to pick up on Ingrid's point about cities and not at least thinking about it is very cliche to say what is the role of private sector in there. There are emerging examples of public/private collaborations in this space. And it would be interesting to hear what can we learn from those. What is the solution like from that perspective?
>> KAMAL BHATTACHARYA: Sure. I would like to first address my friend from Nigeria. You know, I think we have to be careful. This hope of data centers is a fallacy because data centers don't create that many jobs. The businesses that you build on top of data, they are pretty powerful and I think they are the kind of future of what the digital society is. And I have helped a lot of entrepreneurs both in Nigeria as well in Kenya and in South Africa think through setting up local data centers. Building a local data center in a developing economy is always expensive because of electricity, because of cooling, and because you have to build a double backup to a double backup to make sure that the damn thing doesn't go down. So this is where my thing is also the other example that I always give people that, you know, the latest big trend in technology especially in cloud technology is something that is called serverless. Whatever that means, just think about the word, right? So what it essentially means philosophically speaking we are thinking about a future where the physical entity that does compute or storage for that matter is borderless. That's the future. And that was the future of the cloud already.
So the implications of that I kind of want to regulate something else. I want to regulate the companies that are getting or that already are monopolies. I don't know what I can do about consent but I know that Nigeria has a tough chance in the future to establish really valuable data businesses that go global because they are already global monopolies where the borderlessness of data is going to be an incredible challenge for Nigerian companies to compete and Nigerian companies are technically extremely competitive.
When you see the hindrances we have because of the way that our private sector operates today, private sector focused on this data economy it is crazy and that's what Nigeria needs to do. All of the infrastructure issues that you have outside of the things, right? But that's a longer discussion.
I just want to point out one more thing on the role of private sector, you know, and also the role of connectivity, you know, we have been doing a ‑‑ unfortunately we haven't published it yet, but when I was still working at Safara.com, that is a Telco in Kenya that is the rollout of Empassa, which is the most successful mobile money in the world. We did a study. We tried to see if ‑‑ if you give people who come on to the net for the first time with a Smartphone and Kenya has about 50, growing towards 60% Smartphone penetration, what happens if you give them free data. They can use the Internet as much as they want any time they want. We did a randomized control study comparing that to people who also come online and who don't get free data and have to bill. Are they looking for jobs, educate themselves more, are they taking up opportunities, economic impact. We did a survey based study on the groups that we selected through the Telco. And the outcome of it is fascinating. Zero outcome. Zero.
So it reminds me a lot about the discussion around electricity. Remember, electricity, electrifying was the thing to do until we somehow came to terms with the fact that just electrifying is not enough. We also need to be able to give people affordable fridges or TVs that drives consumption. And I see the same effects on the Internet. So this is a study that I have been doing with my friend who is an economist at MIT and who has been working around these things for a long time. But keep in mind, so connectivity is one thing. But the question that I also need to ask is what value are the services that we think are valuable on the Internet today actually are providing for people who live in, you know, not in the Developing Countries middle class. Who live in, you know, poverty or slightly above poverty. Maybe the same things that we value are not things that they value. Maybe Twitter is not as important or maybe some other of the services that we think are not important. And I don't think we have sufficient information about what actually provides value.
And the second thing to me is, you know, I have been working with also a small company startup in the technical and vocational training space. And what they have done is to introduce ICT in to training courses for plumbers, masons and all that. And they build physical structures, physical workshops where they do the theoretical part of plumbing with really interesting tools that they kind of develop in a factory, in the computer factory in India where you have like visualizations of pipe and how you put them in. And then you do it in practice. And they distributed these centers in to rural areas in India. They are doing this in Kenya and Rwanda and several different other places.
Now you are exposing people to the Internet with a very practical purpose which is you want to get a certification as a plumber or a mason you need to learn these kinds of things. We need to start understanding before we think about, you know, how to regulate everything, how are the value services that will include those people who live in poverty, for example, in Kenya. I honestly have spent the last ten years across India and Kenya and many other African countries, I honestly don't know. I really don't know. And I don't have any good indications. We love to make stuff up. We love to say oh, it needs to be telemedicine because look, you have more access to data. It needs to be access to water, I don't know. Honestly everything that I have seen except for mobile money it has been a complete disaster.
>> ELIZABETH STUART: We can come back to that. I just want to check if there is any other burning questions in the room because I am aware of time but also to echo the fact that nobody has really conducted a major scale exercise of asking the poorest and most marginalized what they want, think and prioritize since the World Bank did it 20 years ago. It is not good enough.
>> (Off microphone)
>> ELIZABETH STUART: It is not being used.
>> I just wanted to flag things it is the fact that we don't draw on this local knowledge that's there, statistical and otherwise that is there that would actually tell us some of these things. It is not comprehensive. It is some.
>> ELIZABETH STUART: Right. So let me put you on hold for one second, James. Let me take one final question. The lady over there, can I ask you to go to the microphone, please?
>> Thank you. Janet from Kenya. And I'm sitting here just to tell my friend who indicated that Kenya was really poor. And I did not get anything much. I come from that part, the interior parts of Kenya. And there is a lot of penetration. Of course, electricity is helping so much and also energy. The Government has done so much. And what I believe is there is a need for awareness and knowledge sharing. We believe that as Developing Countries we also strengthen the culture aspect. We are still coming up very fast and aggressive, but we still feel that a lot is not shared. I must say I am 45 and we are scared, there are things that we see, and because I have my children now, I have teenagers, now come to 20. A lot of sharing, a lot of creation of awareness as we absolve these things, divide of ‑‑ and majority know they are coming to that group of not natives in their technology age. But I believe our Government is doing a lot and I am impressed by your comments. Otherwise we are proud to be here. And we take care of that.
>> ELIZABETH STUART: Thank you, Janet. A question in there on digital skills and really interesting digital skills as they have related to data governance. Let me come back to your two finger question or your comment back.
>> This is Jimson speaking, special advisor. You know, you need to cover UN is a good framework to look at ‑‑ how to have the global data governance regime or policy. I want to ask in the workstream of the high level panel, was there a consideration of the report of the CSTD Working Group.
>> ELIZABETH STUART: Can you tell us what CSTD is?
>> It is the United Nations Commission for Science and Tech Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation, on public policy matters pertinent to the Internet. I want to be a member of the Working Group and look at these things basically.
>> ELIZABETH STUART: Right. Very specific question there for Fabrizio. A general question on skills for the panel. I am going to ask you also as you answer ‑‑ we are coming to the end of our session because this is a conversation that needs to run and run. It can run and run, but it needs to run and run but I'm interested in getting very, very concrete about this. What do we need to do next because we can talk about it for a long time? What's the kind of next action that we need to see happening to start unpacking this kind of ‑‑ this ‑‑ all the dilemmas that we have been talking about today. If I can ask you as you reflect on the second round of questions just to give me your very ‑‑ in very concrete terms what is it that you want to see happen next. What do you think needs to happen next. Let me, Fabrizio, there is a specific question to you. Let me ask you first.
>> FABRIZIO HOCHSCHILD: Thank you. To the best of my knowledge, the CSTD, the findings were reviewed and it was acknowledged as a best ‑‑ as a very good example of a good approach, if my recollection serves me rightly.
>> ELIZABETH STUART: I should have also added in one minute. I forgot to add that vital detail.
>> FABRIZIO HOCHSCHILD: Two things happen next. We need to revitalize the suggestion about regional help desks precisely to address these imbalances and I invite anybody who wants to join that discussion to talk to us. And secondly I think we need to see how we can upgrade the IGF to make it more outcome oriented, particularly in this as in other areas.
>> ELIZABETH STUART: Thank you very much specific and very fast.
>> MARIANA VALENTE: First of all, I'd like to come back to the idea that we should have balance plans not just fragments of conversations on the Internet but should be fostering these conversations within countries because sometimes the Developing Countries are not cooperating because these conversations are not necessarily happening at the government level. And last when we are speaking at the UN level, I think we are speaking here of how difficult it is to find champions for these ideas on my areas of expertise. At WIPO there is a Development Agenda going on for a few years now, but the organization itself has been fostering much more of the international rightsholder's agenda and then the Development Agenda. So even in the international fora there is ‑‑ these discussions have to be more fosterant around cooperations and the interest of Developing Countries.
>> ELIZABETH STUART: Excellent. Thank you also. And Kamal. Thanks.
>> KAMAL BHATTACHARYA: Yeah, what I would like to see in the future in these kinds of discussions to start thinking about the taxonomy on getting a better understanding what are the issues that we are trying to address. We are operating in a space without a proper taxonomy. That's why we love to use examples of, you know, here is a startup, did something and that's the future. And here is Google who did something and that's not the future. It is a broad discussion that we need to nail this down and understand where is the way that the digital society is run today, the detriments and creates more inequality and create evidence in those spaces but also look at the sites where is it really positive and understand those areas because we don't want to actually overregulate those parts either.
>> ELIZABETH STUART: Excellent. And I'm delighted that you said taxonomies because the Pathways for Prosperity Commission is now coming to a close. And we are exploring what comes next and we are exploring setting up a center that we based in Oxford at Oxford University but continue to partner with country Governments and partners and academic and policy partners around the world to keep exploring exactly this kind of issue. Building taxonomies and alternative frameworks and exploring other alternative models.
We would love to stay in touch with all of you on this as we develop our thoughts and explore how this is going to work. I would urge, I have already said there is copies of Digital Diplomacy by the door and pick up a copy of the digital manifesto which is a summary of the Pathway's Commission final report which is called the digital roadmap. The manifesto is a easy read with summaries and take that away. And if you want to download the full report it is called the digital roadmap. I would like to thank you so much for your excellent participation and energy in the room around this discussion. And particularly I would like to thank the panelists very much for joining us this morning.