IGF 2020 WS #236 Data flows, Trade and International Cooperation

Time
Thursday, 12th November, 2020 (14:30 UTC) - Thursday, 12th November, 2020 (16:00 UTC)
Room
Room 1
About this Session
Trade is facilitated when Internet functions at its best and data can flow freely and efficiently. Reciprocally, the global reach and effectiveness of the Internet depend on trade. This event discusses how data policies affect companies providing the digital infrastructure needed for the data revolution. The event presents international cooperation schemes in privacy, cybersecurity and competition, and discusses the effectiveness of these schemes and how they affect Internet companies.
Thematic Track

Organizer 1: Kian Cassehgari, World Trade Organization

Speaker 1: Jade Nester, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Additional Speakers

Speaker 1Carl Gahnberg, Senior Policy Advisor at Internet Society

Speaker 2Jade Nester, Director, Consumer Policy at Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA)
 
Speaker 3:Richard Syers, Principal Policy Officer, Information Commissioner's Office, on behalf of the  Global Privacy Assembly
 
Speaker 4:Dr Sean Manion, Neuroscientist and Chief Scientific Officer at ConsenSys Health 
Moderator

Kian Cassehgari, Intergovernmental Organization, Intergovernmental Organization

Online Moderator

Lee Tuthill, Intergovernmental Organization, Intergovernmental Organization

Rapporteur

Agata Ferreira, Technical Community, Eastern European Group

Format

Round Table - Circle - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

• How do current cross-border data flow regulations address the legitimate needs of law enforcement to access evidence? When may data localisation requirements be necessary for ensuring government access to data for law enforcement and regulatory oversight? • How can international cooperation on privacy facilitate the conduct of international business operations while addressing privacy issues? • How can cyber-security regulations related to data accommodate the conduct of international business operations while adequately addressing issues related to illegal activities and content? • Are there data regulations, such as regulatory or contractual data sharing schemes, that can foster market competition and innovation and to improve public policy? What data regulations are necessary for empowering individuals’ control over their personal data? Can arrangements such as data pools or data portability schemes strengthen individuals' control over their personal data and ensure value distribution?

Data regulations can foster trust, yet could also disrupt the seamless functioning of the Internet if overly intrusive. In turn, data regulations may have an impact on the conduct of international business operations. What form of international cooperation is needed to address data-related policy issues, such as privacy or cybersecurity, while minimizing the costs for the conduct of international business operations? What basic principles of governance should apply? As stated by the Berlin Message resulting from the 2019 IGF, working collaboratively on developing commonly agreed values and principles for data frameworks could assist in building confidence in cross-border data flows, with resultant economic and social benefits. Small and Medium Enterprises lacking the resources to map differing national legal regimes would particularly benefit from international cooperation on data regulations. The Session intends to highlight existing or potential international cooperation forms to address data-related policies. The expected outcomes (see below) should provide WTO Members negotiating e-commerce rules on data governance with considerations to take into account from the Internet governance community.

SDGs

GOAL 1: No Poverty
GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
GOAL 12: Responsible Production and Consumption

Trade in all its forms is facilitated when Internet functions at its best and data can flow freely and efficiently. Reciprocally, the global reach and effectiveness of the Internet and its application depend on trade to a large extent.

As stated by the Berlin Message resulting from the 2019 Internet Governance Forum, working collaboratively on developing commonly agreed values and principles for data frameworks could assist in building confidence in cross-border data flows. A lack of international cooperation can result in a diversity of data policies, some of which are more costly for companies and individuals. This lack of international cooperation can also undermine the effectiveness of data policies to achieve the objective(s) they have been designed for, such as privacy, cyber-security, or market competition.

This webinar looks at how data policies affect Internet companies, in particular telecommunications services and ICT services firms, providing the Internet and digital infrastructure needed for the data revolution. The webinar also provides an overview of international cooperation schemes in the field of privacy, cyber-security and competition, and discusses the effectiveness of these schemes and how they affect Internet companies and the data revolution underlying inclusive economic growth.

Expected Outcomes

Interested persons will be able to know more about trade principles and WTO e-commerce negotiations on issues related to data governance. Reciprocally, trade policy experts will be able to be aware of examples of international cooperation methods to reduce international business operations' costs, while addressing data-related policy issues, such as privacy. This IGF workshop will provide useful inputs for meetings and workshops underway at the WTO. The WTO work can build upon the recommendations of the IGF workshop, thereby strengthening links between the IGF and WTO.

The Session will take the form of a 90-minute roundtable. The Session will start with an introduction of the webinar's objectives and the speakers' background.

Each speaker will be invited to make a 8-min presentation.

Following the presentation of speakers, we will turn into the period of questions and answers. We may invite participants to intervene as discussants. Their intervention will be limited to 2 minutes. We also intend to use an online poll to assess participants' opinions during the Session. The online poll will be managed by the Online Moderator. The Moderator may ask speakers to react to the poll results, if relevant.

Relevance to Internet Governance: One of the objectives of the workshop is to inform policymakers, about international cooperation initiatives or proposals to foster the use of the Internet and cross-border data flows, which in turn, facilitate international business operations. We aim at encouraging policy makers to reflect and cooperate in adopting related policies, while minimizing restraints on trade. Another objective of the workshop relevant to Internet governance is to link trade governance at the WTO with Internet governance issues, particularly data governance since Internet governance is based the multi-stakeholder model that can offer broader insights to WTO.

Relevance to Theme: Data governance is now a critical component of Internet related governance issues, which is also under discussion at the WTO. The WTO talks need to take Internet governance into account as digital trade continues to grow and garner the increasing attention of trade policy makers in both advanced and developing countries.

Online Participation

 

 

2. Summary of Issues Discussed
  • Privacy laws and regulations, such as the Convention 108 of the Council of Europe, have been designed to facilitate data flows. These normative frameworks contribute to international trade by enabling companies to move data across borders.
  • Although there are strong commonalities between privacy norms, there are a variety of different mechanisms in place to transfer data across borders. Work on interoperability between these data transfer models is ongoing and will further contribute to data flows and trade.
  • For a data privacy law to be successful, it must provide effective protection for individuals, and, at the same time, it should provide organisations with the freedom to operate, innovate and comply in a way that makes sense for their business models.
  • Moving copies of data is no longer the only way to create value from that data. Decentralized artificial intelligence permits to generate insights from different sources of data without requiring access to these data, thus guaranteeing privacy and security. Technology will increasingly provide regulatory compliant solutions to many of the issues related with data protection.
  • The Internet is composed of five fundamental components, and any government measures that undermine one of these elements affects the entire Internet infrastructure. These components consist of an open and accessible global infrastructure with a common protocol; common IP identifiers; an open architecture to guarantee interoperability; a decentralized routing management allowing optimized costs; a general purpose rather than a specialized so the Internet can adapt to its evolving community of users and applications.
  • Data localisation requirements, for instance, undermine the decentralized routing management of the Internet. Also, aligning routing policy with the requirements of different jurisdictions creates needless complexity and inefficiency, as routing could no longer employ the technical features that generate connectivity, resilience, and optimized flow

 

3. Key Takeaways
  • Privacy laws and regulations, such as the Convention 108 of the Council of Europe, have been designed to facilitate data flows. These normative frameworks contribute to international trade by enabling companies to move data across borders.
  • Although there are strong commonalities between privacy norms, there are a variety of different mechanisms in place to transfer data across borders. Work on interoperability between these data transfer models is ongoing and will further contribute to data flows and trade.
  • For a data privacy law to be successful, it must provide effective protection for individuals, and, at the same time, it should provide organisations with the freedom to operate, innovate and comply in a way that makes sense for their business models.
  • Moving copies of data is no longer the only way to create value from that data. Decentralized artificial intelligence permits to generate insights from different sources of data without requiring access to these data, thus guaranteeing privacy and security. Technology will increasingly provide regulatory compliant solutions to many of the issues related with data protection.
  • The Internet is composed of five fundamental components, and any government measures that undermine one of these elements affects the entire Internet infrastructure. These components consist of an open and accessible global infrastructure with a common protocol; common IP identifiers; an open architecture to guarantee interoperability; a decentralized routing management allowing optimized costs; a general purpose rather than a specialized so the Internet can adapt to its evolving community of users and applications.
  • Data localisation requirements, for instance, undermine the decentralized routing management of the Internet. Also, aligning routing policy with the requirements of different jurisdictions creates needless complexity and inefficiency, as routing could no longer employ the technical features that generate connectivity, resilience, and optimized flow.