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Materials on “Data Governance”

Core Questions

The centrality of data to digital technologies poses challenges for policymakers and regulators looking to both harness their potential and manage new risks. Effective use of data will be central to improving businesses and public services – as revealed by a wide consultation conducted by the Pathways for Prosperity Commission.  Without data standards to ensure a minimum quality of data, and regulatory frameworks to protect citizens (for example, from cyberattacks, data leakages, or fraud), the risks emerging from digital solutions will only grow.

However, to date, much of the global debate about data governance in international fora has been based on the priorities of richer nations. Governments and private sector actors in developed countries have been developing rules and standards which apply beyond the borders of a single jurisdiction. For example, the United States and the European Union have recently adopted rules with extraterritorial provisions (US CLOUD Act and the EU GDPR) which restrict the set of regulatory options available to other jurisdictions. In addition, terms of service and privacy policies developed by big tech companies (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Google) are increasingly becoming de facto global standards.

Core goals of the workshops and sessions wiithing the IGF 2019 are e.g.

  • discuss in which ways the debate around data governance has fallen short of the goals and priorities of developing countries in pursuit of technology-enabled growth, and what governments, businesses, civil society, and academia can do to ensure cross-border governance frameworks are better tailored to low- and middle-income countries.
  • contribute to the design of the updated global digital cooperation architecture, under the IGF Plus model, raising awareness to the importance of considering the particularities of developing countries when designing international frameworks.


"Data governance is key to understanding and realizing the potentials of today's technified societies. Finding sensible data governance solutions means respecting individuals rights and ensuring social cohesision through enabling innovation-focused data access in the public interest, including to privately held data storages. It's about creating added value."

Matthias C. Kettemann, Leibniz Institute for Media Research, Hamburg

Workshops at IGF 2019

Tuesday, Nov 26

Crossborder Data: connecting SMEs in the global supply chain

Solutions for law enforcement to access data across borders

Wednesday, Nov 27

Equitable Data Governance that empowers the public

Children's privacy and data protection in digital contexts

Public Interest Data: Where Are We? To Do What?

A universal data protection framework? How to make it work?

Data-Driven Democracy: Ensuring Values in the Internet Age

Value and Regulation of Personal Data in the BRICS

Data Governance by AI: Putting Human Rights at Risk?

Thursday, Nov 28

Making global Data Governance work for developing countries

Different Parties' Role in PI Protection: AP's Practices

Human-centred Design and Open Data: how to improve AI

Splinternet: What Happens if "Network Sovereignty" Prevails

Beyond Ethics Councils: How to really do AI governance

Enhancing Partnership on Big data for SDGs

Human-centric Digital Identities

Data Governance for Smarter City Mobility

AI Readiness for the SDGs

Rule of Law as a key concept in the digital ecosystem

Unpacking Digital Trade Impacts: Calling all Stakeholders

Friday, Nov 29

Assessing the role of algorithms in electoral processes

A tutorial on public policy essentials of Data Governance

Videos (HMKW)

Media Reports

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Further Resources