IGF 2020 WS #184 Children’s Rights and Participation in Data Governance

Wednesday, 11th November, 2020 (16:50 UTC) - Wednesday, 11th November, 2020 (17:50 UTC)
Room 3
About this Session
The panel will focus on 4 themes centred around children's rights and participation in the governance of their educational data in increasingly digitised schools (1)Voice: Who are the users of edtech? (2)Freedom: What futures do we imagine where opt-out of digital tech use in schools isn’t available? (3) Rights: Existing limitations and best practices to education data use and collection. (4)Threats and Opportunities from AI in education.

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

Speaker 1: Couldry Nick, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Bietti Elettra, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Greene Gretchen , Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 4: Ganesh Varunram, Technical Community, Asia-Pacific Group

Additional Speakers

Main speakers include:

Velislava Hillman 
Velislava Hillman is a senior researcher and a Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics & Political Science. Her research interests are in children's role and rights in education data use, data privacy preservation and data ownership, and children's voices in increasingly digitized and data-driven learning spaces. Velislava is the founder of EDDS, a start-up focused on student data privacy and literacy.

Nick Couldry
Nick Couldry is a sociologist of media and culture. He is Professor of Media Communications and Social Theory at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and from 2017 has been Faculty Associate at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society. He is the author or editor of fifteen books including most recently The Costs of Connection: How Data is Colonizing Human Life and Appropriating Life for Capitalism (with Ulises Mejias, Stanford UP), Media: Why It Matters  (Polity 2019), Media, Voice, Space and Power (Routledge 2020), The Mediated Construction of Reality (with Andreas Hepp, Polity, 2016), Media, Society, World: Social Theory and Digital Media Practice (Polity 2012) and Why Voice Matters (Sage 2010).

Gretchen Greene
Gretchen Greene, C.Phil, M.S., J.D., is an internationally recognized expert on face and emotion recognition and AI and AV policy and ethics whose advice to governments has been read in 8,000 cities. Gretchen Greene is an AI policy advisor, Yale trained lawyer, computer vision scientist, autonomous vehicle engineer and former U.S. national lab mathematician whose broad, multi-industry and government experience includes technical, legal and policy work for the U.S. Departments of Energy, Defense, Justice and Homeland Security, the British House of Lords, NRDC Asia and Ropes & Gray.

Doaa Abu-Elyounes 
Doaa Abu-Elyounes is a doctoral student at Harvard Law School; and an affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. Doaa researches the effect of artificial intelligence algorithms on the criminal justice system; and the legal framework that is suitable to govern the new space.

Beatriz Botero Arcila
Beatriz Botero Arcila is a doctoral candidate at Harvard Law School and an affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. Her research studies the governance of data collected by digital platforms in cities, such as sharing economy firms and smart city technology providers. 

Varunram Ganesh
Varunram Ganesh is a Research Engineer and Entrepreneur from Chennai, India working at the MIT Digital Currency Initiative (DCI). His background is in technology research and data privacy, and his interests span cryptocurrencies, personal data security and emerging technologies. As an active entrepreneur, he performs research at the intersection of data privacy and student inclusion at EDDS, a startup focused on student data privacy, and leads Bitcoin education initiatives at BitHyve.


Break-out Group Discussions - Flexible Seating - 90 Min

Online duration reset to 60 minutes.
Policy Question(s)

Children’s rights as a dimension for governance of data-driven technologies What is – and should be – the role of children and youth in data governance? How should their meaningful participation be included in all cases where consequences will affect them now or in the future?

Raise the issue of the overall lack of progress by states to take active measures in creating mechanisms that can monitor the effective respect of children’s rights by industry. Discuss the challenges jurisdictions may be facing in applying laws against the use of discriminative algorithmic decision-making (e.g. job or university applications), products collecting data, including biometric data, from children. Envisage pathways for bringing up children into an adulthood where the concept of personal data control can work effectively. Identify common principles on how youth can take part in the design of data governance frameworks. Identify practical mechanisms for educating children’s workforce and children themselves with regards to data use, collection, benefits and limitations.


GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-Being
GOAL 4: Quality Education


Data-driven decision-making, in combination with the growing attention to children’s digital rights due to the increasing digitization of their everyday environments of home and school, has led to an amplification of the risks and less so of the opportunities from online access to information about health, quality education, social interaction and creativity. This skewed focus has led to more protective and limiting measures than ones that enable children’s beneficial participation in the digital world. Moreover, as the focus shifts towards big data, which has the potential to override human decision-making, knowing, understanding and being able to act upon any decision-making related to their data should be treated as integral to children’s human rights. With a global drive to open borders for data sharing and interoperability based on the principle that this will lead to innovation and the successful implementation of the Sustainability Development Goals, common principles and measures must be taken to fulfill children’s rights and consider their role in how this data flow will be governed. As research shows, children lack an adequate understanding of data collection, data profiling, and equally of the commercial and marketing objectives of such increasingly common practices (ERGA, 2018). Simply delivering warning messages or providing more information to parents and children about these practices fail to ensure that children specifically can take informed decisions about the fate of their own data (ICO, 2019). While providing protective measures against the collection of children’s data for commercial purposes guarantees safer Internet for them in general, commercial entities still manage to find existing loopholes such as, for instance, to use data for improving ‘education-related’ products and services (FERPA, 2011). By focusing on children’s education, we build upon the argument that simply drafting restrictive measures to children’s participation in the digital world will not help to uphold their rights and freedoms. Children must grow to become informed adults who are aware of and understand both the limitations and the potentials of data. The objective of the proposed workshop is two-fold: 1. To gather feedback on the preceptions and understanding of the issues that exist in relation to children’s and youth's rights and role in the governance and use of their education data. 2. Engage young people who will be attending the session in the discussion about their own perspectives to current practices and use of their education data 3. Engage the audience to draw ideas that can help draft practical next steps for industry and states on the role of children and young people in education data governance and data use.

Expected Outcomes

• Policy recommendations specifically with regards to setting up curricula for children’s workforce, children and youth across all levels • Publication outlining the proposals collected during the breakout sessions

Relevance to Internet Governance: • Gather feedback from all participants during the IGF through the proposed workshop and identify dominant beliefs and understanding of children’s rights and participation in the digital world. • Outline existing barriers to developing common measures for enabling children’s data literacy, awareness and understanding that translates into the ability to raise informed adults with the skills for effective personal data control. • Contribute with the outlining of common principles and measures specifically for states and the private sector to adhere to in order to uphold children’s rights in the age of datafication. Specifically, for children to be aware of, understand and make informed decisions about their data, their meaningful participation must be included and acknowledged across all state levels and industry.

Relevance to Theme: The objective of the workshop aims to lead its participants into discussions surrounding three themes that directly relate to the IGF thematic track, which considers the need for developing people-centric frameworks that respect human rights, empowers individuals and specifically calls for the inclusion of youth. These are: - Guidance for Innovators: the technical implementation and the role of the private sector in ensuring that children’s participation in data governance is included. Including those more vulnerable members of society by developing creative and constructive measures that emphasizes their agency rather than ‘victimize’ and therefore incapacitate them. - The role of law: specifically, as companies increasingly cross borders with their digital products and services targeting children, data collection and use crosses differing legal regimes. The workshop will contribute with discussing the current awareness and understanding of these differing legal regimes relating to cross-border data flow with the attendees, draw on research evidence and identify possible difficulties relating to understanding the role of law from the producer’s (tech provider) and the receiver’s (child) end. - Youth Participation in Policy Agendas: This theme will aim to discuss and gather a diverse view of what the role of youth should be in drafting policies on data governance; identify commonalities and find ways to provide common ground that all states can relate to and apply.

Online Participation

Usage of IGF Official Tool. Additional Tools proposed: online polling application for a Q&A session.