IGF 2021 WS #129
Digital Rights: beyond Human Rights in the Digital Realm

Organizer 1: Jean F. Queralt, The IO Foundation
Organizer 2: Kaliya Young, HumanFirst.Tech
Organizer 3: Len Manriquez, The IO Foundation (TIOF)

Speaker 1: Jean F. Queralt, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 2: Kaliya Young, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Len Manriquez, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group


Kaliya Young, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Online Moderator

Len Manriquez, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group


Jean F. Queralt, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group


Round Table - U-shape - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

Data governance and trust, globally and locally: What is needed to ensure that existing and future national and international data governance frameworks are effective in mandating the responsible and trustworthy use of data, with respect for privacy and other human rights?
Protecting consumer rights: What regulatory approaches are/could be effective in upholding consumer rights, offering adequate remedies for rights violations, and eliminating unfair and deceptive practices from the part of Internet companies?
Additional Policy Questions Information: International infrastructures: How can emerging concepts such as Data-Centric Digital Rights shape the way we understand, manage and protect citizens' data.

- The lack of taxonomies on Digital Harms and Digital Rights
- The lack of syllabus on these to be adopted by technologists



Targets: By ensuring a proper understanding of the nature of data and its management, we would be able to:
- Create a language (taxonomies) that technologists can understand and get behind of.
- Establish open standards of implementation that can be evaluated for compliance.
- This would create more transparently protective Internet infrastructures observant of the Principle of Rights By Design.


With the advent of new realities in Digital Spaces (data protection laws or data sovereignty among many others), we are starting to observe the concept of Digital Territory. Are we leading towards a new age where user's data lives in independent silos? How are we going to ensure the observance of Human Rights for users? Does data itself hold a crucial role we have been ignoring thus far?

Grounded in concepts such as the UDHR, the SDGs but also UNGP in BHR, we indeed need to reconsider if data itself, and most precisely the models it creates, should be granted rights: Data-Centric Digital Rights.

What are the policy changes we are going to face? Can we effectively bridge the huge divide with technologists? Do we really need to create brand new sets of laws or could we leverage on already existing ones? What are the readily available technologies we could use to address this?

Moreover, what is the role of technologists in this advocacy? As designers and builders of all the infrastructures we so much worry about, aren’t they likely the most critical actor to involve in these conversations?

If we want to ensure proper protection of digital citizens, we need to rally technologists to embrace their role as NextGen Rights Defenders and enable them to design and implement infrastructures, products and services that follow the Principle of Rights by Design.

In summary, we will be trying to address the question: Doesn't data, by virtue of its own nature, have its own rights?

The session will also present the preliminary research on Data-Centric Digital Rights taxonomies (Digital Harms and Digital Rights) by the UDDR Steering Committee.

Expected Outcomes

- Identify best practices to drive a different understanding and conversations on the nature of data.
- To initiate a more vigorous debate on the subject of Data-Centric Digital Rights beyond the traditional Human Rights frame.
- To identify stakeholders to work on more HR/DR-compliant legal AND technical frameworks for Data Protection Laws and any digital-related policies.
- Identify ways to introduce more effective concepts of HR/DR to Computer Science academia.
- To identify proposals for tech implementation on SDGs, BHR & Data Protection Laws
- Create a platform to share documents on Data-Centric Digital Rights that will include both policy and tech as reference for the community.

1) Each component of the session will be accompanied of questions and engagement towards the participants
2) Activities will be provided and possibly an on-side collaborator would then be identified among our partners

(We believe that a U-Shape setup would allow for better view from all participants to the screens hosting the speakers.

Online Participation

Usage of IGF Official Tool. Additional Tools proposed: - Start.me: Collection of links with materials and follow up contact
- Jamboard: Whiteboard with better features than Zoom that can be kept post session