IGF 2023 WS #176 Data Access in the Majority World: Empowering People


Data Governance & Trust
Big Data Architecture, Usage and Governance
Data Free Flow
Data Privacy and Protection

Organizer 1: Chris Riley, Data Transfer Initiative
Organizer 2: Sophie Tomlinson, 🔒
Organizer 3: Mariana Rozo-Paz, The Datasphere Initiative / Internet and Jurisdiction Policy Network
Organizer 4: Lorrayne Porciuncula, The Datasphere Initiative

Speaker 1: Chris Riley, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Carolina Rossini, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 3: Basu Arindrajit, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group


Lorrayne Porciuncula, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Online Moderator

Sophie Tomlinson, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Mariana Rozo-Paz, Civil Society, Intergovernmental Organization


Round Table - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

1. How do national laws promote, or impede, the free flow of data and the ability of users to positively direct the use of their data?
2. Are people aware of, and able to use, individual, personal data portability interfaces, such as those set up to implement the GDPR? Are other tools desirable?
3. What opportunities for partnerships and collaborations hold appeal to empower individuals to use their personal data to their benefit?

What will participants gain from attending this session? Participants will learn both breadth and depth of data access and governance issues, including more about practical and open-source tools for data portability, as well as cutting-edge experiments with data governance models. Participants will also influence this work, providing their perspectives to help ensure data governance serves all interests. Finally they will identify partners and future collaborators, in both the speakers and each other, who share a vision of working together in the service of human empowerment through data.


In the session “Data Access in the Majority Of The World”, participants and attendees will tackle the challenges and opportunities in dealing with both personal and non-personal data poverty and access issues in the Majority of The World. Participants of this “Workshop” will identify challenges regarding the issues of collection, processing and flow of data in the Majority of the World/Global South. Discussions will be within the lenses of core values such as diversity, inclusion and equity distribution. Participants will then identify and discuss opportunities and interventions needed to deal with these challenges. The goal of the session is to catalyze collaborations in governance and technology that ultimately result in greater empowerment of people through data.

The session organizer, the Data Transfer Initiative, is a new nonprofit organization with the mission to: “Empower people by building a vibrant ecosystem for simple and secure data transfers.” Co-organizer, the Datasphere Initiative, is a global organization built around a global community of partners, such as UNESCO, the D4D Global Research Hub, and the African Parliamentary Network on Internet Governance, with a focus on the datasphere - the complex system of data and its interactions with human groups and norms. The two organizations combine broad and specific technical experience together, and from their shared perspective, seek to learn from and with the global IGF community in this session regarding their experiences with data access in the majority world. The goal of the session is to catalyze collaborations in governance and technology that ultimately result in greater empowerment of people through data.

Expected Outcomes

An identified set of relevant organizations working around the world on various issues related to data access.
An identified set of challenges related to empowerment of people with respect to personal data.
An identified set of opportunities for engagement with policy discussions and product development related to data access.

Hybrid Format: The remote moderator will actively solicit comments and questions from online participants throughout the session. Organizers will also actively promote the session on social media.
The moderator of the workshop will give the floor to participants by the order they raise their hands, to avoid giving preference to those who are attending onsite. Onsite participants will be encouraged to interact in the chat in order to engage with the online audience.
The session will be an interactive discussion, weaving contributions from online and the room. Online participants will be encouraged to turn-on their videos and introduce themselves so all attendees can see who has joined the session.
The organizers will explore using Mentimeter, an online polling tool to encourage online and onsite participants to answer questions and spark discussion and reactions.