Growth and User Empowerment Through Data Commons

22 October 2013 - A Workshop on Access in Bali, Indonesia

Internet Governance Forum 2013

Workshop # 275 Report

growth and user empowerment through data commons

Organizer Name 

Mitchell Paul

Organizer Entity 

Microsoft

Workshop Theme 

The Internet as an Engine for Growth and Advancement

Consise description 

 

The world is awash in data, and becoming increasingly more so, a digital deluge that is estimated to grow at about 50% a year. The availability of this data holds extraordinary potential for societal benefits and economic growth, while at the same time creates growing concerns for individual loss of control and privacy, potentially impacting their human rights. Balancing these needs will be essential and requires thoughtful policy processes that can approach these issues holistically.

 

Increasingly, data is recognized as one of the fastest-accelerating economic drivers in the world today, especially in developing countries. Similar to the democratization effect of the Internet, data has the ability to unleash innovation, with resulting global socio-economic growth. Data analytics are being investigated by governments, global agencies, and other development organizations around the world, as tools to enable and improve evidence-based policy making, in issues that include city planning, epidemic tracking, disaster preparedness, and economic forecasting. Recent initiatives from both the public and private sectors with both open data and big data are demonstrating the value that can be gained from enabling the use of these data, including insights that lead to innovative new applications or approaches to solving traditional issues in more cost-effective and/or efficient means, or new insights into societal and cultural dynamics, all with implications for policy makers.

 

However, these data uses can introduce new risks for users. As their personal data flow unseen across global networks, people are increasingly concerned about a loss of control, and a growing reliance on technologies that impact their lives in ways they don’t understand. Small wonder that regulators are concerned about an imbalance between industry and individuals, and moving to protect citizens from risks posed by a data-driven economy.

 

Both of these discussions about data use are frequently carried out in parallel and separate forums. This workshop brings these different perspectives into a single discussion to explore potential alternatives and approaches in creating a balanced and holistic policy framework. Global experts currently involved in these initiatives globally are convened to address the following:

  • Specific examples of how big data/open data deliver societal benefits and economic growth;
  • How the insights resulting from the analytics and sharing of diverse data types and data sets can enhance policy making;
  • What are some best practices to ensure that data will be used appropriately in a trusted and balanced ecosystem, and that user rights can be enforced;
  • How technology can help enable these best practices and complement policy approaches under consideration.

 

 

 

Agenda 

Moderated discussion on the following questions: 1) What are specific examples of how big data/open data deliver societal benefits and economic growth? How can the insights resulting from the analytics and sharing of diverse data types and data sets enhance policy making? 2) What are some policy approaches that can enable these benefits, at the same time considering individual rights and protection? 3) What are some best practices to ensure that data will be used appropriately in a trusted and balanced ecosystem, and that user rights can be enforced? How can technology enable these best practices and complement policy approaches under consideration?

Moderator 

Dr. Carolyn Nguyen

Remote Moderator 

TBD

Have you organized workshops at previous IGFs?

No

Workshop format 

Panel

Workshop Transcript 

Transcript

Brief substantive summary of the workshop and presentation of the main issues that were raised during the discussions 

 

IGF 2013 – October 22-25, 2013, Bali, Indonesia

 

Workshop #275: Big data: enabling growth and user empowerment  

 

Session Type: Panel

 

Co-organizers: Microsoft, Data Driven Development Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum

 

Moderator: Paul Mitchell, Senior Director, Technology Policy Group, Microsoft Corporation

 

Panelists:

  1. Amparo Ballivian, Lead Economist, Development Data Group, World Bank

  2. Alan Marcus, Head, ICT, World Economic Forum

  3. Linnet E. M. Taylor, Female, Researcher, Oxford Internet Institute

 

The moderator opened the workshop by describing the current situation with regard to data: 

 

The world is awash in data, and becoming increasingly more so, a digital deluge that is estimated to grow at about 50% a year. The availability of this data holds extraordinary potential for societal benefits and economic growth, while at the same time creates growing concerns for individual loss of control and privacy, potentially impacting their human rights. Balancing these needs will be essential and requires thoughtful policy processes that can approach these issues holistically.  Data is recognized as one of the fastest-accelerating economic drivers in the world today. Data analytics are being investigated by governments, global agencies, and other development organizations around the world, as tools to enable and improve evidence-based policy making.

 

The panelists were asked to respond to the following key questions:

 

  1. 1) What are specific examples of how big data/open data deliver societal benefits and economic growth?

  2. 2) How can the insights resulting from the analytics and sharing of diverse data types and data sets enhance policy making?

  3. 3) What are some policy approaches that can enable these benefits, at the same time considering individual rights and protection?

  4. 4) What are some best practices to ensure that data will be used appropriately in a trusted and balanced ecosystem, and that user rights can be enforced?

  5. 5) How can technology enable these best practices and complement policy approaches under consideration?

 

In the discussion the panelists noted that the key element of Trust is being undermined and must be restored and built upon.  It was acknowledged that significant economic growth can be attributed to the collection and use of data, but that there are multiple different contexts for data.  Despite the significant volumes of data, in some cases and in some countries there is actually not enough data to make good decisions for social benefits – this is especially true in developing countries.  Panelists differed on whether we are seeing an evolution or a revolution in the use of data. 

 

It was noted that societies are in the process of adapting to new norms regarding data collection and use but all countries are not participating equally.  One key element is that the burden of proof varies when it comes to harm - does a citizen need to prove they have been harmed, or does a data collector need to prove they did no harm?  Panelists noted that it is necessary to “define the crime.”


 

Conclusions drawn from the workshop and further comments 

 

The need and applicability of standards for accessing data was discussed.  Concerns included lack of agreement on standards, poor quality of the data, and possible loss of revenue depending upon the circumstance.  Several suggestions were made regarding ways to improve the situation:

  •  
  • 1) An international authority for data sharing could be a part of a new governance regime for data.
  • 2) New participatory structures could be created.
  • 3) A data taxonomy could be agreed for different types of data that would aid in sharing and appropriate analysis.
  • 4) Lack of statistical sampling and reliance only on large data sets can sometimes yield invalid answers. 
  • 5) Statisticians should be added to the data discussion to improve the quality of analysis.
  •  

 

Reported by 

Paul Mitchell

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 mentioned briefly in the presentations and discussions

Discussion affecting gender equality and women's empowerment 

 

Workshops Staticals 
Number of FEMALE participantsNumber of MALE participantsNumber of Young participantsNumber of Developing Countries ParticipantsNumber of Developed Countries ParticipantsNumber of LDCs participantsNumber of TOTAL Participants
0 0 2 0 0 0 0