(No.86) Solutions for enabling cross-border data flows

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Workshop Theme: 
Access and Diversity
Theme Question: 

Security, Privacy and Openness; Access and Diversity

Concise Description of Workshop: 

The Internet has revolutionised our ability to communicate and share data beyond national boundaries, thereby facilitating cross-border social and commercial interactions. Enabling cross-border data flows, however, raises a number of important Internet governance policy considerations for a broad range of stakeholders, such as business, intermediaries, users, law enforcement agencies, governments, policymakers and the wider Internet technical community. In this context, the workshop will explore policy issues, from various stakeholder perspectives.

The dynamic panel of experts will provide a wide range of perspectives for this discussion and explore concrete solutions and options for enabling cross-border data flows. This is an important opportunity to raise awareness about the practical and the policy realities raised by these issues. It will also be an opportunity to exchange regarding possible approaches and solutions. This will be an interactive workshop that allows for sharing of concrete issues and experiences.
The following preliminary agenda will be revised to include targeted questions to explore these wide-ranging inter-connected issues with a view to identifying effective solutions and approaches.

  1. Exploring the policy and governance issues (45 minutes)

Interactive discussion with the panelists
• how to enable data flows in and across different legal environments
• the balance between privacy and free flow of data
• the exercise of human rights across borders, including freedom of expression and opinion
• interoperability, portability and security
• data retention and access to data
• surveillance and opportunistic observation
• business strategies (such as advertising and anonymity; etc)
Interactive discussion with the participants

  1. Possible approaches and solutions (45 minutes)

Interactive discussion with the panelists and participants

Backgroung Paper: 
Organiser(s) Name: 

This co-sponsorship of this workshop will be consistent with the multistakeholder principle. The workshop will include representatives from business, governments, the technical community and civil society. Geographic diversity will be represented.

The workshop co-organizers are business, the International Chamber of Commerce’s (ICC) BASIS (Business Action to Support the Information Society) initiative, and the Internet Society (ISOC) representing the Internet technical community/civil society.

Ayesha Hassan/Constance Weise - International Chamber of Commerce - Business
Christine Runnegar - Internet Society - Internet technical community/civil society

Previous Workshop(s): 

At the IGF 2011, ICC BASIS jointly organized two workshops; the ICC BASIS/Government of Kenya workshop report on “Mobile and cloud services for development” was submitted and can be found here: http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/components/com_chronocontact/uploads/WSPr...

Secondly, ICC BASIS, in partnership with the Internet Society, organized a workshop on “Improving the IGF: how can we get the most out of IGF improvement processes” available at: http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/component/chronocontact/?chronoformname=W...

IGF workshop report 2010:
1) ‘Implications of Cloud Computing’: http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/component/chronocontact/?chronoformname=W...
2) ‘Open forum on ICC’s data protection and privacy work and products’: http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/component/content/article/102-transcripts... IGF workshop report 2009: ‘Internet Governance: Economic- Recovery and Growth’: http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/index.php/component/chronocontact/?chrono...

IGF workshop report 2008: “Digital convergence beyond technology: socio-economic benefits, SMEs & public policy": http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/2008-igf-hyderabad/event-reports/72-works...

IGF workshop report 2007:
1) “Managing security issues: authentication at the transaction level”: http://www.iccwbo.org/uploadedFiles/BASIS/pages/ICC-BASIS_Workshop_Repor...
2) “Multi-stakeholder Policy Development: lessons from actors engaged in existing institutional processes”: http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/rio_reports/WS_27_Short_Report.pdf

IGF workshop report 2006: “Building human and institutional capacity for meaningful participation in Internet governance issues”: http://www.intgovforum.org/Workshop_reports.php

Here are the links to the Internet Society co-organized workshop reports in 2011:

IGF workshop reports 2011: “Copyright under a magnifying glass” (Internet Society/World Intellectual Property Organization): http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/components/com_chronocontact/uploads/WSPr...

“Blocking content: issues, principles and paths forward” (Internet Society/Association for Progressive Communications): http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/components/com_chronocontact/uploads/WSPr...

“The Role of Internet Exchange Points in Creating Internet capacity and Bringing Autonomy to Developing Nations” (Internet Society/OECD): http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/component/chronocontact/?chronoformname=W...

“The Future of the Internet and its impact on the world: A Scenarios Summit” (Internet Society/ICT Strategies/International Institute for Sustainable Development): http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/component/chronocontact/?chronoformname=W...

Submitted Workshop Panelists: 

 Meredith A Baker, Senior Vice President, NBCUniversal Government Relations (confirmed)
 Danilo Doneda, General Coordinator, Consumer Protection and Defence, Ministry of Justice, Brazil (remote panellist)
 Maria Hall, Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communications, Sweden (confirmed)
 Malavika Jayaram, Partner, Jayaram & Jayaram, Bangalore (confirmed)
 Christine Runnegar, Senior Policy Advisor, Internet Society (confirmed)
 Ivan Sanchez Medina, Member of the Columbian National Telecommunications Commission, CRC (remote panellist)
 Substantive rapporteur: Karen Mulberry, Policy Advisor, Internet Society (confirmed)
 Moderator: Jeff Brueggeman, Vice President-Public Policy & Deputy Chief Privacy Officer, AT&T

Name of Remote Moderator(s): 
Constance Weise (ICC BASIS) (confirmed)
Gender Report Card
Please estimate the overall number of women participants present at the session: 
About half of the participants were women
To what extent did the session discuss gender equality and/or women's empowerment?: 
It was not seen as related to the session theme and was not raised
Reported by: 
Christine Runnegar, ISOC; summary by Constance Weise, ICC BASIS
A brief substantive summary and the main issues that were raised: 

The topic of this workshop, enabling cross-border data flows, has been a “hot issue” at recent IGFs. There is increasing interest at IGF in cloud computing and its inter-relationship with policy. The conversation began around “what is cloud computing” and what data transfers are involved. It then evolved into a discussion about potential barriers to deployment and policy concerns that may be raised by use of cloud computing across borders such as privacy and security. The goal of this workshop is to take the discussion to the next step – to identify some solutions and positive trends enabling, promoting and facilitating cross-border data flows, which are important for the evolution of new types of services and the free flow of information, freedom of expression, as well as social and economic development.
The workshop explored policy issues from various stakeholder perspectives, mainly relating to the impact of regulations on international transactions and the free flow of data, such as:

  1. Regional disparities in the definition and the regulation of privacy and data protection as well as in the enforcement of such regulations.
  2. Efforts to establish uniform regional or global uniformity of privacy and data protection laws and practices, e.g. the APEC Cross-Border Privacy Rules System (CBPRS).
  3. International cooperation efforts in cross-border enforcements of privacy and data protection regulations, contractual solutions.
  4. The debate between global regulatory efforts or efforts to ensure compatibility and interoperability between the different existing systems.
  5. The challenge of striking the right balance in regulation between privacy and data protection laws and safety and criminal laws.
  6. The importance of the transparency and predictability of data protection laws and legal frameworks in encouraging electronic commerce.
  7. Government concerns such as the lack of technical understanding and the fear of technology which lead to inadequate regulations. 
Conclusions and further comments: 

The Swedish government representative Maria Häll concluded this workshop feeling very positive about development. She highlighted that this dialogue at the IGF is very valuable for her as the government representative, and hopefully also for other stakeholders. Ms Hall would like to bring this kind of dialogue home, and she will continue to debate this, together with her colleagues inside and outside the government. Multistakeholder discussions should also take place in our day-to-day work, not only here at the IGF.
Meredith Baker feels that this workshop triggered very valuable discussions. The multistakeholder approach of the IGF has really proven to be valuable. There is clearly a long way to go, but innovation needs to be continued. Data needs to be protected and these cross-border flows need to happen, but one also needs to make sure that industry can continue to innovate so that this data can flow across borders. 
Civil society representative Malavika Jayaram concluded that developing countries are moving from a “stick” to a “carrot” kind of approach. Previously, data was protected because of the fear of sanctions, whereas now, there is a growing sense that it actually makes business sense and it can actually add to your competitive advantage rather than take away from it. There is also a growing sophistication with the way the debate is progressing, and more often acknowledgment that it actually promotes business rather than adds to the cost, which was the fear before. That is looking very positive.
Workshop co-organizer and technical community representative Christine Runnegar thanked everyone for making this a really interesting discussion. She pointed out that the workshop was only an hour and a half long, and that there are many other issues that could have been discussed that are solutions for enabling cross-border data flows. She hopes that everyone will go away and think about what some of those things are and spread the word. The IGF is indeed a really excellent place to have this sort of discussion from different perspectives of different stakeholders from all across the world.

Additional documents: