Introductory Breakout Session: Data Governance


The aim of this interactive Introductory Session is to set the scene for the various sessions taking place during the week under the theme of Data Governance, the description of which can be found below.

To kick off the session and provide her insights on this broad topic, we are very fortunate to have Marie-Laure Denis, President of CNIL, the French Data Protection Authority.

The session will then proceed with small, informal group discussions on six different aspects of Data Governance: Cross-border data; Jurisdictional & sovereignty issues; Data protection frameworks; Data & sustainable development; Human rights & internet ethics; and Governance & ethics of AI algorithms, as represented in this graphic - Participants will be encouraged to share their views and experience regarding key policy issues in these six break-out sessions, discuss pressing policy questions.

The session will close with reports back from each breakout group to the full room. We hope that this session helps people to learn more about sessions in areas of particular personal interest that will be taking place in Berlin, as well as connecting with others interested in, and working on, the same policy issues.


09:30 – 09:35 Welcome and Introduction 

09:35 – 10:00 Scene-setting remarks by, and questions to, Marie-Laure Denis, President, CNIL (French Data Protection Authority)

10:00 – 10:40 Sub-thematic breakout sessions

10:40 – 11:15 Reports back from breakout sessions

11:15 – 11:20 Conclusion


The Data Governance track will provide for discussions on the fundamental challenge of ensuring the benefits of the data revolution to contribute to inclusive economic development while protecting the rights of people.

The global nature of the Internet and the transfer of digital information across borders brings an international dimension to discussions around data. The generation, collection, storage, transfer and processing of data (including personally identifiable data) have enabled new social, cultural, and economic opportunities than ever previously imagined. At the same time, the massive collection, transfer and processing of data (in particular through the application of algorithms/AI/machine learning) by public as well as private entities pose challenges around privacy, freedom of expression and the exercise of other human rights.

The Data Governance track will contribute to identifying best approaches to ensure the development of human-centric data governance frameworks at national, regional and international levels. It will enable an exchange of views on how to support and operationalize the exercise of human rights and the empowerment of individuals in their digital identity in current uses and development of data-driven technologies. And it will consider how to create the conditions needed to facilitate data-driven innovation, to ensure competition, and to foster trust in the development of services and new technologies, including through the use of inclusive data and the fulfillment of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

1. Key Policy Questions and Expectations

The nature of the session is to attempt to look across all 100+ sessions under the Data Governance theme, by breaking them down into 6 sub-themes. A breakout group related to each sub-theme will discuss several policy questions related to that sub-theme and then report back to the full group on any conclusions or areas of consensus or disagreement. A written summary of these reports will be produced.