IGF 2019 WS #319 Freedom or Regulation?: Data on Online Commercial Platform

Organizer 1: Mariko Kobayashi, Keio University/Mercari, Inc.
Organizer 2: Hirotaka Nakajima, Mercari, Inc.
Organizer 3: Donggi Lee, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), Korea Internet Governance Alliance(KIGA)

Speaker 1: Adetola Abdulfattah SOGBESAN, Private Sector, African Group
Speaker 2: Nat Sakimura, Intergovernmental Organization, Intergovernmental Organization
Speaker 3: Diego Canabarro, Technical Community, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 4: Donggi Lee, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group

Policy Question(s): 

【Understanding data on online commercial platform】
What kind of risks on sharing economy from the perspective of a safe and secure platform?
Is there a regional regulation? Does the current peer-to-peer reputation system works enough?
What is the expected regulation on C2C platforms?
How do governments consider to cooperate with other stakeholders?
When private company prepare for new service, how do they review the usage of the data?
Is there any governmental departments to take care of data privacy and its usage?
Does government have specific guideline for service operators for both local and global company?Is there any laws or protection for users when they want to claim the right of data?

【To maintain a good balance between freedom and regulation in digital economy】
Is there any good practice the good collaboration beyond different stakeholders?
What is the role of your stakeholder? What kind of forum or event is desirable?
How can emerging technologies such as machine learning and blockchain contribute to makes a more convenient, safe and secure platform?
Is there any moderator to claim inappropriate regulations from private sector or inappropriate freedom from governments?
How can we define useful application of data?
What is a middle point between freedom and regulation?

Relevance to Theme: With the growing number of data on Internet services, platformers' business becomes complicated for both users and service operators. For instance, it becomes more difficult to distinguish good or bad content or users' behavior in their services. It means drawing a line between correct and treacherous information is on blurred line.Thus, someone has started to consider the necessity of more sophisticated regulation or cooperation with governments to provide their customers with a safe and secure space. However, simultaneously, we must not forget “The free flow of data,” which is inevitable for the evolution of the digital economy. Therefore, we need a well-balanced approach between regulation and business. This works not only the current business but also potential platform business which includes any type of data and information. The multi-stakeholder models’ approach works properly to discuss the topic with different point of views.

Nowadays, sharing economy becomes popular all over the world and consumer to consumer(C2C) service also have been attracted people as an e-commerce on global marketplaces. At the same time, they are facing the influence of regulation in different regions due to local restrictions. We choose this platform business such as B2B for the main topic because it is more related to various stakeholders such as civil society and young users compared to other markets like B2B. With rapid development of information and communication technologies, platform business make a big change of citizen’s daily life. For example, in the past, people visit grocery stores in person to buy what they need. However, we can buy anywhere and anytime through online markets and automated orders and intelligent advisory/recommendation services are also available now. As platform services collect lots of various types of data to make better services, end-users might be curious about proper flow of information. Therefore, a multistakeholder-model discussion will find more practical ideas and solutions to make information useful and stable and figure out clues to not only governments or business sector, international organization, but also users to get their proper rights about personal information.

As time goes by, people know that the quality of services get better for innovative services, but people don’t know how their data could be used and shared with different multistakeholders. That is why this workshop can bring us precise rights of personal information and methods for usage of data.

Relevance to Internet Governance: The Internet is one of the best platforms for people all over the world to challenge the new and creative business. Generally, people believe gross domestic product(GDP) as an index to gauge each nation’s economic activity. With the evolution of the Internet, sharing economy, especially consumer to consumer (C2C) services which do not appear on the existing framework of GDP contributes to creating a new user-centric market. C2C platform contributes to the quality of life by sharing of space, things, transportation, and skills. It enables people to get a commodity or use services cheaper than exiting monopolized services. It is also effective to accomplish a sustainable society from the perspective of SDGs. It provides an opportunity for ordinal Internet users to start their business by using the Internet, too.

Internet Governance Forum is where various experts from all stakeholders and regions with both technical and governance backgrounds, so it is the best forum to discuss “how to create a secure and convenient platform.” Moreover, to expand such businesses for developing countries, we need a stable Internet infrastructure. The IGF provides a forum where both session of "digital economy" and “accessibility /inclusion.” Therefore, we invite not only people from business sectors who know well about sharing economy, but also other experts who have been working on the Internet governance issues to exchange local and global internet governance issues. We believe this session will be a cross point between the digital economy and other internet governance topics.


Break-out Group Discussions - Flexible Seating - 90 Min

Description: 【Intro (10 mins)】
A moderator briefly explains backgrounds of issues and the format of this session which is described in this proposal. We also share the goal and the expected outcome of this workshop.

【Group Discussion 1: Sharing Regional Situation and Issues(25mins)】
In this part, all participants are divided into a group based on their region. One expert or organizer is assigned to them to facilitate the group. The Former 15 minutes is for group discussion. The latter 10 minutes for a representative from each group share briefly what they discussed. We plan to discuss topics below;
What kind of sharing economy service is popular in your region?
Is there any existing or expected regulation on those platformers?
Does it bring bad or good future for a digital economy?

【Sharing experts’ opinions: (20 mins)】
A young expert from the APAC region will present how emerging technology such as machine learning and blockchain are used on the C2C platform and how they improve the system and manage to take a balance with regulation. An expert from the technical community in GULAC mentions additional case studies from his region. An expert from the African business sector will mention the relevance between Internet accessibility and sharing economy, expected regulation in the region. An expert from OECD/ITAC is expected to talk about trust on C2C reputation system.

【Group Discussion 2: Well-balanced solution from each stakeholder(35 mins)】
The format is the same as group discussion 1. In the beginning, an expert of the government from Europe explains regulations in their region and the underlying ethics to consider the relationship with platformers(10 minutes). After that, we plan to divide participants into the stakeholder-based group. Each expert and organizer will join them to facilitate each group. After 15 minutes of presentation, one representative from each stakeholder presents the result of the discussion.
Expected topics in each group are;
How can we encourage a multi-stakeholder approach to discussing regulation on platforms? What is the role of your stakeholder?
What kind of forum or event is desirable?

【Wrap-up (5 mins)】
Moderator summarizes the outcome of this workshop, then gives a closing remark. Organizer encourages participants to share our report with their local community.

Expected Outcomes: There are two expected outcomes; summary of regional situations of sharing economy and desirable solutions from IGF community which are discussed in the very diverse and multi-stakeholder form. We will submit a summary of various regional issues and perspective about platforms, especially sharing economy as a report on IGF. The IGF MAG can include our discussion for a recommendation for the future data governance.

Regarding the format of a session, we try to discuss issues by regional first, then discuss a solution for them. Regulation has been determined and made a consensus between some popular platformers and governments. In order to enhance a multi-stakeholder approach to make those process of discussing regulation more inclusive, we use “sharing economy” which is a familiar market with civil society. If this format works well to concludes complicated issues on the digital economy, the IGF and other Internet community can apply it to other meetings.

Onsite Moderator: 

Mariko Kobayashi, Private Sector, Asia-Pacific Group

Online Moderator: 

Hirotaka Nakajima, Private Sector, Asia-Pacific Group


Mariko Kobayashi, Private Sector, Asia-Pacific Group

Discussion Facilitation: 

Based on previous experiences at IGF, we found that people are not so willing to speak their opinion in the panel-style session. To encourage participants' proactive and interactive conversation, our workshop mainly consists of a group discussion part with introduction with experts and another group discussion part with participants from floor. More than half of the whole session is allocated to participants’ discussion.

Usually, an organizer of a workshop provides experts’ presentation first, but we plan to serve a participant-centric discussion first to prevent sticking to speakers' opinions. We understand that it is difficult to discuss with people who meet for the first time there. Therefore, We invite experts from several regions and stakeholders. Each of them is assigned to guide each group discussion during this workshop. Each of experts will moderate group discussion and choose some interesting topics and example cases from participants. After the group divided discussion, panels will share opinions and experiences and have overall discussion between panels and participants. We believe participation will be naturally encouraged during the group sharings.

Online Participation: 

Regarding online facilitation, we would like to provide almost the same priority for online participants. It is challenging to help online participants to join each group, so the online moderator guides them to discuss using a chat system on WebEx, then the moderator summarizes to present. All of the questions to experts or group presentation would be accepted to use call or chat system on WebEx. To make better online-offline interaction, we will try to best condition for audio equipment and environment.

Proposed Additional Tools: Yes, we may use whiteboard sheets and markers for each group to summarize their discussion.


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