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IGF 2019 – Day 0 – Raum IV – High Level Internet Governance Exchange Panels on Data Governance - RAW

The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Fourteenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Berlin, Germany, from 25 to 29 November 2019. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record. 

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   >> Excuse me, ladies and gentlemen, the panel will start a little bit later.  The main program in the Europa Raum is delayed, the panel will start around a half hour later.  So don't worry, the panel will exist and be proceeded, but, yes, you can drink a cup of coffee or have a glass of water and come back later for a half hour later.  We will inform you about the exact start of this panel if it's time.  Okay.  Thank you for your comprehension.

   >> Please come fast because we only have 30 minutes and it's really short for a distinguished long eight panelists and we rush through our agenda and this is what we do.  We have to be a little spontaneous.  Please have a seat.

      >> STEPHANIE CZERNY:  My dear friends, maybe we should start and I begin with the introduction.  Dear ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the session about data use and sovereignty.  Data sovereignty.  In the framework of the Internet Governance Forum today, before we dive into the discussion here my text says 60 minutes but we only have 30 minutes.  Part time Stephanie Czerny.  I founded 2005 Conference called DLD.  DLD stands for digital life design, it deals with how is the Internet shaping our world and our society and our personal lives.

It's an honour for me to moderate here today.  We have I distinguished group of people from different geographies as well as backgrounds in the session.  One of the fathers of the Internet, Vint Cerf, four Ministers ‑‑ in the moment, only two Ministers but we hope there will be more, four Ministers of Government from Asia, Africa and Europe, one high ranking UN RUN representative, one advisory board member of globally operating companies and one representative from a non‑profit organisation.

Unfortunately, the announced Mr. Tarek Müller couldn't come.  He got ill tonight so I am the one who do the introduction.  So allow me to lead into the topic briefly before we go into the individual statements of each panelist and following Q and A session.  Many of the globally operating digital services, we are all using or should I say we all are relying on today are based on a key resource, which as you know, data machine generated data, and more importantly, human generated data such as location, medical or behavioral data.

Around this human‑generated or personal data, there has been much debate on how it can and should be processed in order to further economic development, efficient governmental processes while protecting individuals' rights for their privacy.  Calls for data sovereignty and regulation have been raised especially from European Governments and consumers, while on the other hand, the argument can be made that the full potential, the full potential of the Internet can only be harvested when it remains open, free and borderless and data can flow freely.

What makes data governance under the global space of the Internet a particular challenge is the fact that there is a different understanding of data who belongs to different regions of the world.  Thus the data belongs to the companies which collect it to build businesses and services out of it.  Does it belong to the state Government which can use it to further the technological development of the nation?  Or does it belong to the individual which has a right to make an informs decision where and when their data should be used?

How can we reach an agreement on what good good data governance is in this respect?  I think we all can agree it's a necessary and important task to define these rules.  If we want to enhance trust in the Internet, while fostering growth and development of digital data‑driven businesses and research.

So let's jump into the panelist discussion.  I would like to turn to you, Vint Cerf.

You are one of the fathers of the Internet.  And also Vice President and chief evangelist for Google.  And essay from 2013 coauthored by yourself is titled Internet Governance is our shared responsibility, which makes a case for existing, multiple Internet stakeholders to push forward governance initiatives in three areas of expertise, in their area of expertise rather than presume a one regulation fits all approach.  Is disbursing responsibility the way forward?  And how far are we in the process of governing the use of data?

   >> VINT CERF:  I hope that in fact it is the way forward because the ability to move data freely from one place to another in the world over this world spanning Internet does require a lot of cooperation and assumed responsibility among all of us.  We have to have both technical protections and we have to have common principles that will allow people who put data into this system to feel that the data is properly protected and that they can trust the organisations, Google and others to maintain safety and security of that information.

The GDPR is an attempt to both to sort of standardize the way in which we treat data, but it is essential that there be accountability for the safety of that information.  So from the Google point of view, we are very experienced with enormous amounts of data that people trust us to put into the system and maintain access to only authorized parties.  It's your email, your documented, your Google searches, your maps and all of the other things that we offer are protected, and we do that recognizing that in order to trust us with the data, we have to apply extremely powerful mechanisms including cryptography to maintain data in transit and at rest.

One of the things we have to collectively achieve if we want all of the organisations who are part of the Internet to fully move data around is the adopted common principles, technical principles in order to ensure the data everyone that the data is adequately detected that there is strong authentication of parties before they get access to the data and that those that own the data are cost that it's being treated in accordance with their expectation.  I will mention that we have established a Google safety engineering centre in Munich and that group wishes to engage with others in order to formulate practices and policies and principles for protection of information.

I'll stop there, mad Dan chairwoman because I know you have very little time.

   >> STEPHANIE CZERNY:  This is the perspective of a U.S. company.  I would like now to ask Nadia, Minister of Economy of Spain.  Dear Minister, you have also had a long standing experience as Director General of the Directorate general budget and the European Commission.  What is European point of view the reaction of what Vint Cerf just said.

   >> NADIA CALVINO:  I was very happy to hear this very constructive approach.  Before I was responsible for the budget in the EU commission, I was responsible for financial regulation and competition.  Technology has evolved very fast and we need too adjust our institution and systems and legal frameworks and I was very encouraged this morning already to hear that there is this strong consensus that probably self‑regulation is not enough and we need to find a way to regulate things in a coherent manner throughout the world to build global standards, global conference frameworks and I was happy to hear that the business sector most directly impacted by this is also seeing this need and happy to find a way forward.

When it comes to data, we don't need to spend any time discussing the importance that they have.  There are three key issues we need to reflect upon.  The first one is accessibility, not only the free flow, but how do we ensure that we take the opportunities of accessing data to improve health services.  This has been mentioned as a very good example in the course of the morning while, of course, ensuring the integrity, the correctness of the data, the maintenance of those data and the privacy and the non‑individualization of the data.

And this is a first key issue, accessibility, but it is undoubtedly connected to the second issue, which is trust.  If there is no trust in that the data is going to be appropriately used by the private sector and public sector then citizens are not going to be willing to give their data and we will lose these opportunities.

I think that the GDPR becoming sort of a standard throughout the world is a very good development because it will avoid that we end up having  hundreds of different rules which at the end of the day are not going to enable us to know what's going on with our data.  This second issue of trust is indispensable, and then the third issue, which is the big elephant in the room, but it has been mentioned already this morning is who owns the data?

Citizens own data.  Companies that develop these know‑how have the data.  So what is the value of the data and how do we have a fair taxation system?  In that sense also I think it's very important that we make progress in the OECD and in the good 20 framework so we are building economic Government systems which enable this development of the new technologies across the world in a manner which protects or put the citizen at the centre of development so we profit from the opportunities but we avoid the mistakes and risks which we are already starting to see. 

   >> STEPHANIE CZERNY:  Vice Minister Yakiko Yamada, we spoke very briefly about the panel, and you mentioned immediately trust as one of the most important source of dealing with the Internet.  Can you give us your point of view.

   >> MAKIKO YAMADA:  I am very sorry to be late.  I was in the wrong room and I sat on the stage and I was so much embarrassed so my colleague took me here.  So I'm very happy to be here in time, and so we, Japan, we Chaired the G20 meeting this year and that meeting focused on the data free flow, but we had the consensus on the data free flow with trust.  And it is the G20 Government's consensus that the freeze flow of data is important, but the trust is necessary for the future data flow.

And so I would like to introduce here our initiative, Japanese initiative on one of the examples of the, how to reach the suggestion of the trust of data flow.  It is concerned with the personal data our personal data bank.  So there are many consumers who have anxiety over providing personal data.  And in order to resolve this status, it is critically important to the individual to be involved in the use of personal data.

We need to balance controllability by individuals in data usage, and in regards to this, I would like to introduce a Japanese framework called personal trust bank which allows data use by individuals.  And this system allows individuals so store and manage their personal data.  However, it is difficult for people to make decisions on the use of their individual data, and in addition each person has difficulties thinking about the purpose of the use of data.  So personal data trust bank is a framework to solve those issues and this scheme enables individuals to delegate entrusted parties to provide personal data to third parties with consensus.  So if, and I understand this panel is very much time limited, so if I have time more, and then I can also explain a little bit more, but this is kind of the introduction remarks from me.

   >> STEPHANIE CZERNY:  Thank you very much.  I think it's realize for us, the audience, the listeners, really important to learn more about the amazing things which are going on in Japan.  I think I had no idea how advanced your policy is.  Thank you so much.  Thank you so much.

The next panelist, the next Minister of State, I would really like to hear from Ebrima Sillah.  As we heard, many African states are quickly leapfrogging into the global digital economy, so what is your position on data governance in this growing market?  Should it be left to the economy or to the Government?

   >> EBRIMA SILLAH:  Thank you so much, Madame Chair.

I think time given to us is too short to actually lay out our strategic policy interventions, but I think your question and, of course, the issue of data governance brings to the forean important fundamental issue for us in Africa, which is data security and data integrity, and also trust in the trustee, because let me tell you that, I mean, within the next 20, 30 years, I mean, you will have more Internet users in Africa than Europe, America combined with the weigh the trends are going.

What a lot of companies are looking at basically is to what we call segregate the populations into classes, I mean,, the middle class, the affordable class, the extreme poor but who will have important data that the NGOs and multilaterals will have to use to justify a whole lot of interventions in Africa.  For us this is extremely important that data sovereignty lies in the states so that companies that are coming in to work with our Governments, our citizens ensure is that the rules are respected, the rurals are followed and then we have a fund fundamental right to access data with respect but also responsibility.

So far our global convergence is rather than the Budapest Convention on cybersecurity and all of those issues, but we also have great concerns about who uses our data, what do they use it for, because right now we need to, we have to admit, people of African dissent and people of Africa and African countries are people who have been tracked most for data minors, for what we call opportunistic use of this data in future.  It is extremely important for us that we lay foundations through policy but also through legislation, that data that is collected by our people, our unsuspecting people are managed by the state, because it is conventional wisdom that the state acts on behalf of the people and it acts in good faith on behalf of those people.

So really for us, it is too short to lay out our fundamental policy concerns, but, you know, I mean, we have already developed a paper that I will share with especially those of the countries that are from the developing world, not only from Africa, to put some of these fundamental issues into great, great consideration while we move together to ensure that we have a fully digital governance environment that acts with caution but also with responsibility.  Thank you.

   >> STEPHANIE CZERNY:  Thank you for your optimistic vision, and I'm very glad that you told us this.  I think this panel could be held for a whole Conference.  30 minutes are definitely too short.  It's such a pity.  The next statement I would like to hear hear from Liu Zhemin, the underSecretary of the United Nations.  You are at the very centre of all of the data governance debate.  You are also a national of China.  Do you see the conflict line between China and Europe and the U.S. when it comes to data use and privacy as clearly cut as it is often reported?

   >> LIU ZHEMIN:  Thank you moderator.  This is a challenging question to me.  Let me share with you some perspective as how we see the data issues in the United Nations.  Actually Internet is really changing the data generation, changing the data procession, changing the data use.  Until Internet was developed, actually the data for the whole international community we all rely on official data, official statistics.

But we have developed Internet, actually generation data be at a much wider scope, every citizen has now become the owner of the data, but that's a risk, not a problem, that you could could we really balance the difference between official data and non‑official data.  And how do we assure that non‑official data will be complimentary and attributed to the integration of the data, that it lay good foundation for the future development of the Internet.

For the United Nations, we have a challenge since 2015 whether the world adopted the 2030 Agenda, that would be agenda until 2030, how we could support Governments, Member States, and all communities to ensure that they have adequate data for preparing the development as well as to measurement their progress.  This year's big challenge, I think we are trying to use official data because official data much trusted by Governments, much trusted by Governments.

But in many cases, this equity data is big challenge because even official data there is also gaps between Member States depending on their capacity for development and generating data.  You mention what about the U.S. and China, actually I think these countries, they are in a better position for official data.  They are in a bitter position for both generation and processing.  But among 193UN Member States, the data gap exists very seriously between the north and the south.

I think until now as the Minister of Gambia mentioned, we do not have universal access of data capacity among 193 members.  So that's the issue we want to try though achieve to have every country have the national capacity for developing official data.  Second, I think, based on official data, how it could help improve processing of unofficial data.  The Internet would be of great help.

I think we need to cooperate with different Internet Society Internet companies so that they could help to improve our quality of data.  By improving the quality of data, they improve the authority of data.  So the Minister of Spain had mentioned it's trust of data, it is a big issue.  I think to improve trust of data, we have to start by improving the quality of data.  Of course, I think this data will be basis for further development, further evolution of Internet, but I hope it will be for all Internet companies, really devote more investment in helping the international community improving the data, I think this can be done through the calibration with some comments, as well as cooperation with some international organisations.

I think United Nations is really in a position to collaborate with Internet Societies, with Internet companies to ensure our data would be improved.  I am confident on that.  Thank you.

   >> STEPHANIE CZERNY:  Steph thank you so much for your call to action.  Now, Pablo, please give us your perspective.  Pablo is with APNIC maybe you could give a short glimpse what is it and what your role is there and how you see the question of international trust in data regarding localization of the Internet?

   >> PABLO HINOJOSA:  This is a very flash panel and a lightning talk.  I wanted to bring here a perspective of phenomenon that has happened on the Internet which is the localized content on the Internet.  I will depart from what Vint Cerf said that people basically put a lot of trust, with their data to organisations, certain organisations which are called the Cloud computer companies and the content distributors.  So this has created sort of a change in the way sort of the Internet works in the sense that it also enables national interests around cyber sovereignty and more control and regulation over data.

Since today, most of the traffic goes from a content owner straight to the Cloud provider and there are sort of concentrated group of companies that deliver this content, this content can be local or global to the final users.  So the traffic flow instead of going through the public Internet is now bouncing between sort of these networks before it goes straight to the local networks.

So I wanted to bring sort of the questions of localized content into this discussion because I think they are at the core of self‑determination of data and also data sovereignty as the question for this panel post.

   >> STEPHANIE CZERNY:  Thank you Pablo Hinojosa.  The it's the idea of think global and act local.  Maybe it's an old fashioned quote, but it still works.  So now I have the pleasure to ask you, my dear friend, Simone Menne, we know each other for a long time and I'm happy that you are here.  You are an influential business woman in Germany.  You work with several boards, you are advisory committee board member and you have a good insight of the state of the Internet and digitalization in the world because you work with global companies.

You just heard from six different panelists, six different statements.  What is your point of view regarding our topic?

   >> SIMONE MENNE:  It's a slightly unfair position I'm in now, because I'm the last and I have nearly the last word.

So let's put it like this, data, and I think we all agree, is a absolutely valuable resource and we need it for the human mankind and further development and, therefore, we need it globally for health, for distribution of goods.  What we see at the moment is already a operation of Internet, so we see some localized Internets, different rules and different countries that may hinder our global further development of data.  So to solve the problems of mankind, we need a global cooperation beyond borders and industries and this for yum is great because it brings together politics, companies and scientists knowing what we can do as well as industries.

United Nations is, I think, the owner, the task holder for this, but slightly controversial to what I have heard before, I think trust globally is already lost.  There has been too many misuses of data by companies as well as by nations, and what we need, I think, is first a lot more transparency to the individual, meaning what are algorithms doing in Google or BMW.  We need ownership for an individual.  I don't believe a company or a nation can own the data of an individual.

Unfortunately at the moment, we have a technology where you have to hand over your data to get some convenience or sometimes even something you urgently need.  So, therefore, I think and I hope a solution like Tim bern is Lee is providing where we have an individual link and ownership of data where you decide on your own what to do with it could be a solution.  I don't seize national solutions.  I think we need a lot more training for everybody to understand what we are doing with our data and we, of course, and we all agree on that, need a code of conduct with responsibility for every player, meaning the individual, the company as well as a nation has to sign a code of conduct which is borderless with common rules and where misuse by individual, company or nations is a crime like any other crime and will, therefore, like any crime against human mankind be punished.

So that's my idea.

   >> STEPHANIE CZERNY:  Thank you, simple moan.

We need a kind of enlightenment.  In the 18th century happening the democracy of states, we need this, we need ‑‑ we have to get involved much more than we are.  And since we owe the fact of the Internet our dear friend Vint Cerf who is still one of the fathers of the Internet, I will give you the last word.  How did you react to what you just heard?

   >> VINT CERF:  Thank you so much for that.

I wanted to point out to you that not all data should necessarily be owned.  Some of the most valuable data in the world is public data, shared data and we use it to advance scientific knowledge, we use it to make major decisions and policy decisions.  However, even if it's not owned, it's important that have integrity and that we understand the Providence of the data.  So part of our challenge is to make sure we can achieve that objective.

If we know about open source, think about open data in the same context.  We also need to develop ontologies that help us describe the kind of data we are dealing with, whether it's official data that you mentioned earlier, or personal data or protected data of one kind or another.  We need the ontology so we can tell people how we are treating the data based on its type.  So I just leave that for you to consider that let us not imagine that all data has to be owned, that shared data, public data is vitally important.

   >> STEPHANIE CZERNY:  Thank you so much.  Thank you dear panelists.  I'm so sorry that we can't open it for questions.  We already have 30 minutes and this is over now, but I encourage you to continue ‑‑ 38 seconds.  One question from the audience.  Here.  Please introduce yourself.

   >> AUDIENCE:  Hos Cramers, Germany, I very much appreciated that there was at least the last panelist, thank you for having a little bit criticism or skepticism about our so tights.  What the reality is you can wish all of the trust you want, and the reality is that it doesn't work.  And, for instance, one question for me raised here was in direction of United Nations, how is the effort, the realistic effort of United Nations to fight corruption internationally.

Corruption doesn't work without information, and we all know that corruption is about big money, and those people need the information from the others.  That is, corruption is part of the Internet fighting.  So what is the realistic perspective of United Nations?

   >> STEPHANIE CZERNY:  Thank you so much for your question.  I think it gives us food for thought.  We can't answer it yet now because it would take too much time, but I invite you to come to the DLD Conference, it's January 18th‑20th.  Please apply to come and I encourage the panel to continue DLD.  Thank you.  Bye.

(Applause).

(Concluded at 1220) 

 

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