IGF 2022 WS #528 Privacy in Public? Making Digital Infrastructure Accountable

Thursday, 1st December, 2022 (12:35 UTC) - Thursday, 1st December, 2022 (14:05 UTC)

Organizer 1: Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Organizer 2: Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group

Speaker 1: Smitha Krishna Prasad, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 2: Helani Galpaya, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 3: Celina Bottino, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)


Break-out Group Discussions - Flexible Seating - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

- How do we maintain the private in the public in developing economies, especially when competing interests in data pit individual rights against societal progress? - How can digital public infrastructure projects use participatory design approaches to make decisions about data collection and use? - Are citizens' rights at risk when governments enter into public-private partnerships or outsource e-government initiatives to companies, and how can such risks be mitigated?

Connection with previous Messages: Several (no time to include them here due to time constraints)



Targets: Our proposal focuses on resilience and rights within infrastructure and ways to safeguard and boost participatory design making, institutional accountability, etc. These are very closely linked to goals 9.1 and 16.5, 16.6, 16.7 and 16.9 in particular.


Digital government initiatives are increasingly critical to public service delivery and civic engagement. When done well, they can foster greater efficiency and inclusion, reduce corruption and fraud, and serve as a pathway to attaining several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). When they fail to include privacy, data security and transparency as core values and features, they can entrench power and knowledge asymmetries, and expose citizens, especially vulnerable and marginalized groups, to grave harm. This session reviews the proliferation of such public digital infrastructure, particularly in the Global South, and examines the policy instruments and technical safeguards that preserve the privacy of citizens’ data within large e-government platforms and portals. Through the use of vivid, real world examples from emerging economies, serving as grounded case studies and provocations, this session will encourage participants to engage with the life-cycle of data within e-governance initiatives, the processes and stakeholders that can safeguard its privacy and integrity, and offer concrete recommendations for governance reform. The session will include a multi stakeholder role-playing exercise with a specially designed card game, to help bring the issues to life and increase literacy and understanding.

Expected Outcomes

1) A follow up event and publication, with insights from this session featuring in a report on public service delivery in India, located against a comparative frame with global best practices. 2) An updated version of the card game we introduce in the session, based on audience input. This can serve as a literacy and capacity building tool to discuss issues of data in public service infrastructure

Hybrid Format: We will use the onsite moderator to facilitate the in-person group through the game and the reporting back, while the online moderator will do the same for the remote participants - with a physical card game as well as a virtual one being used respectively. We will pre-record a few lightning "provocations" and quotes, rather than talks, as a way of bringing asynchronously produced content into conversation with the live audience. We will provide space for the audience to continue to engage with the content during and after the session, through an online document We will use collaborative annotation tools such as a Miro board to allow all participants to engage with the content.

Online Participation


Usage of IGF Official Tool.