IGF 2022 WS #261 Perils and opportunities of data integration for security

Wednesday, 30th November, 2022 (08:15 UTC) - Wednesday, 30th November, 2022 (09:45 UTC)
Press Briefing Room

Organizer 1: Carrillo Eduardo, TEDIC
Organizer 2: Helena Secaf, Data Privacy Brasil Research

Speaker 1: Pilar Saenz, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Speaker 2: Miguel CANDIA IBARRA, Government, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Speaker 3: Claudia Aradau, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Speaker 4: Ferreyra Eduardo, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Speaker 5: Helena Secaf, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Speaker 6: Ilia Siatista, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Additional Speakers

Dorothy Mukasa- Chief Executive Officer- Unwanted Witness (Uganda)


Carrillo Eduardo, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Online Moderator

Miguel CANDIA IBARRA, Government, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)


Helena Secaf, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)


Debate - Auditorium - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

1. How can civil society better help governments deploy privacy and rights-respecting policies across cities and borders? 2. Are trade-offs between public security and privacy unavoidable? If so, what are the minimum safeguards in place to ensure human rights compliance in Global South public security policies? 3. What is the role of international cooperation in financing public security policies in the Global South? What should responsible international cooperation in line with human rights look like?

Connection with previous Messages: The building of a sustainable future for the Internet has many layers, each of one of them equally complicated. This said, one of the biggest unsolved debates in the digital rights realm is that of the trade-offs around security, privacy and data protection. We consider this debate can become the kick- off of a wider conversation between policy-makers, civil society advocates operating at regional and global scale, and funders (both private and from international cooperation) to ensure collective security while at the same time respect the privacy and data protection so often overlooked when implementing digital technologies for surveillance purposes.


9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Targets: SDG 9, particularly 9.c. We consider that increased access to information and communications technology should be framed around full human rights compliance. This said, it is important to point that the pervasiveness of ICT for surveillance and security purposes is still quite far from human rights debates, something we believe this panel will help to shorten, and thus, give a new meaning and approach to what this access actually means and entails. SDG 16, particularly 16.3, 16.6, 16.a. The necessity of reliable and accountable institutions is at the core of our proposal, since traditionally, security institutions are normally quite disconnected from substantive human rights debates (particularly privacy and data protection debates), and thus, this proposal is a way to widen the gap between such stakeholders and groups


The invisible integration: Perils and opportunities of data integration for migration and security public policies The current integration of digital technologies in security and migration policies has long been established. Moreover, the COVID- 19 pandemic accelerated such a process. However, this said, such integration is coupled with a lack of attention from policymakers and even international cooperation when deploying and financing digital security systems and technologies for different purposes. This Workshop intends to create an open space for encounter and debate, to jointly reflect upon the opportunities and limits that digital technologies pose for the enjoyment of human rights, particularly in security and migration in border areas and cities. It will build on a case study of database integration of intelligence and police institutions in the Triple Border Area (Shared between Argentina, Brasil and Paraguay) conducted by the organizations TEDIC and Data Privacy Brasil. It will connect with similar initiatives across cities and borders in Latin America and Africa, where similar integration and deployment of technologies (i.e. facial recognition cameras and drones for border patrol) occur. Such expose will be led by global partners from the international NGO Privacy International. Moreover, it will allow policymakers to share their security and technology policies across borders and cities. To collectively reflect upon the trade-offs that government, CSO's and international cooperation should reflect upon when deploying digital technologies for security purposes and the baseline transparency and safeguards mechanisms to enforce for better citizen involvement and human rights compliance.

Expected Outcomes

1. Outcome: Civil society organizations from the Global South, policymakers and international cooperation to identify and agree upon the minimum safeguards and policies that should be in place when deploying digital technologies for security and border control purposes 1.1. Output: Systematization and publication of a report on technology deployment in the Triple Border Area that includes the safeguards and policies identified in the Workshop as part of its findings. 2. Strengthen networking spaces between digital rights CSOs and academics from the Global South with policymakers and international cooperation that work at the intersection of security, technology and human rights. 2.1 Output: Explore potential direct communication channels to directly connect civil society organizations and government related to foreign affairs and security to discuss this issues

Hybrid Format: - How will you facilitate interaction between onsite and online speakers and attendees? The currently proposed speakers have wide access to ICT resources and are used to participate in online sessions such as RightsCon, CPDP Latam, IGF Latam and IGF global. This said, my organization will seek to document all the discussions and also upload them in our social media channels to ensure that attendees who for some reason cannot participate in the day of the event, will have a place to go to access and be part of the conversation. - How will you design the session to ensure the best possible experience for online and onsite participants? The panel aims to facilitate the exchange of ideas from different multistakeholder sectors, which often come with very different positions on a given topic. We will aim to highlight and pinpoint such discrepancies in order to ensure an interesting, innovative and up-to-date discussion that can engage audiences across the world and can offer a useful experience for participants, in order to replicate the discussion in their own jurisdictions

Online Participation


Usage of IGF Official Tool.


Key Takeaways (* deadline 2 hours after session)

The session has agreed on the prevalence of human rights when thinking in the intersection of security policies and digitization. Particularly participants from other global south countries like Senegal and India have shared their experiences and point to learning on how Global North countries actually evaluate the acquisition of digital technologies for the delivery of public policies, security included.

A recognition of the non-uniformity of the state was discussed. Specifically, although sovereignty is indeed an issue of importance for State's, sometimes the way such Sovereignty is perceived in the context of digital technologies is not necessarily sufficient to ensure, so States need more capacity in this end.

Call to Action (* deadline 2 hours after session)

There is a need for safe and honest spaces of conversation at the intersection of digital technologies and security policies. The responsability to create this space falls on the entire multi-stakeholder ecosystem: Civil society, academia, private sector, governments and technical community. Moreover, the international cooperation community working in this issues must be included as well.

Session Report (* deadline 26 October) - click on the ? symbol for instructions

This IGF session was designed to create an honest space of conversation with different representatives from the multi-stakeholder model, in order to reflect on one of the biggest challenges at the intersection of digitization of public policies. Namely, what are the trade-offs to be considered at the intersection of public security and human rights when deploying digital systems, with a particular focus in the right to privacy.

The session was predominantly composed by representatives from civil society, but also with one representative from the government. It was aimed to also include the voices of the private sector in this matter, but due to time constraints, this was not achieve.

The panel had numerous reflections useful to the matter in question. It started from a characterization from the different panelists and their work. Such panelists presented case studies from the Triple Border Area (border shared between Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay), Colombia, Argentina,Uganda and also case studies from a more bird- eye view, particularly related to the African context. Amongst the main topics discussed:

  • The trends and discourse that is identified when reflecting in the implementation of technologies in public security contexts (particularly in the Triple Border Area) is that of technology as a synonym for eficiency; efficiency as a value opposed to rights; opaqueness based on the justification of public security

  • When thinking in the collection of biometrics data in the context of border control, there is an ongoing process in the context of the large flux of migrants coming from Venezuela and Colombia. There is a large use of biometrics in this context were the State collects more biometric data to grant basic rights to Venezuelan migrant communities and in comparison to the data collected from Colombian citizens. Such is an experimental deployment of technologies in migrants

  • When thinking in the access to information revolving security programmes, there is quite a gap in general. In the case of Argentina, there is a lack of information in the aquisition and use of surveillance technologies. These technologies are bought from local suppliers and not the manufacturers, which makes practices even more opaque. There is a public-private trend in the implementation of these technologies

  • From a sovereignty point of view: surveillance technologies are not produced in Africa, but imported there, so that adds human rights international bodies and communities to the agenda, as they can strenghten the narrative that these technologies are not needed and are not synonyms for security

  • Data protection laws usually exempt their application to public and national security matters, so that makes it easier for States to implement surveillance technologies - and they have been doing that without impact assessments of any kind (both human rights impact assessment or data protection impact assessments)

  • There is a big responsibility from international cooperation both from international organizations or States when thinking in the deployment of security and technology. The US national security agency has provided technologies to Ethiopia; China and the EU have also invested money in African countries for the deployment of surveillance technologies
    The EU has been equiping non members States with surveillance technologies in order to prevent migration fluxes before migrants actually reach the physical borders of the EU
    Private economic interests, lack of transparency and lack of legislation are some of the challenges to work against this movement. Going after private companies that manufacturer the technologies and after countries that provide them to other ones are also some of the possible paths to moving forward.

  • From a government point of view is important to recognize that technologies are a tool for States to provide services, including public security. States engage with human rights (Paraguay is directly involved with international human rights systems). However, it is also important to reflect on the issue that States are not uniform bodies, and sometimes, approaches to a given matter change between different public bodies. This includes public security as a policy.


Audience engagement


  • As long as countries from the Global South use technologies developed in other countries, they will not be free and be able to protect their citizens. Africa doesn't have a strong political will to develop its own technologies and some countries are just moving away from authoritarian to democratic regimes now. Civil society is also not strong in this context. Another challenge is the lack of laws of access to information, as well as a lack of collaboration between strong international human rights organizations and local organizations (specially francophone Africa)
    It's a muti- stakeholder ecosystem and coordinated efforts are necessary to attack it

  • More needs to be done when reflecting not only in the role of the State, but also international cooperation and private actors who predominantly have shareholders interests in mind. The multi- stakeholder process is and should be a tool to use when reflecting in this role and the duty of this stakeholders when thinking in human rights compliance and particularly when considering global south particularities.

  • Lastly, CSOs should be in touch with each other and with journalists and the media in order to unveil current opaqueness. Also with international human rights actors, who usually have the possibility of engage more directly and put more pressure in States