Privacy as Innovation II

3 September 2014 - A Workshop on Other in Istanbul, Turkey

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

Privacy was in this workshop viewed as an area of opportunity and innovation. The success of new innovative services and applications that provide users with control over personal data and social contexts and mounting trends in user strategies to navigate safely and anonymously online, all suggest that a paradigm shift is on its way. This shift entails a shift in focus where protection of privacy rather than being described solely as an area of governance, or as an obstacle to innovation and sharing, can be viewed as the foundation for the evolution of digital media business models that more critically understand digital media as an evolving architecture of human social relations, and privacy as a new basic market demand and an area worth investing in for businesses and society at large.

The first “Privacy as Innovation” workshop was held at IGF in Bali 2013 with a general discussion of the discourses concerning privacy and innovation. The follow up workshop “Privacy as Innovation II” constituted a discussion of the challenges as well as the opportunities of the privacy innovations today and included innovative ideas from the tech community, civil society, policymakers and youth. It critically assessed the solutions available today and also evaluated present day alternatives. The core aim was to discuss key practical principles for innovations in privacy technologies looking at privacy technologies as an economic and social investment.

Conclusions drawn from the workshop and possible follow up actions

Key conclusions: The speakers adressed a need to reframe the conversation about privacy. Privacy should not be viewed in opposition to innovation, but as a natural component adressing user demands for choice and control. Thus, privacy is not only a concept but a sollution that adresses both user demands to control their content online with peers as well as the way in which businesses handle user data backstage. Privacy innovation needs to take into account data ownership, big data ethics, alternative business models, financial control, as well as user demands for convenience. Organizations must incoporate a more diverse legal as well as technical expertise that adress all of these areas. Particularly sollutions need to address user needs and demands. Users will choose convenience over privacy and thus innovation must adress both.
Choice and control was equated with privacy by the youth participants who primarily use the most commonly known social media services. Generally they do not know how there data is used by the services they use.
There is a need for a social and econonomic investment in alternative sollutions build on alternative business models and privacy by design. Users should not have to pay for privacy. Awareness of privacy issues among users is important and awareness of increasing privacy demands from users will be an incentive for companies to use privacy as innovation.
Participants expressed a need for a continous exhange of knowledge in the field. There is a need for an international level playing field of privacy principles. The IGF was suggested as a framework for this. The moderator suggested that participants of the workshop express their interest in participating in a further discussion and exhange of information after the workshop by sending and email to the moderator. Others not participating in the workshop are invited to do the same.

Estimation of the overall number of participants present at the workshop


Estimation of the overall number of women present at the workshop

about half of the participants were women

Extent to that the workshop discuss gender equality and/or women’s empowerment

it was not seen as related to the workshop’s theme and was not raised

A brief summary of the discussions in case that the workshop addressed issues related to gender equality and/or women’s empowerment

No information provided

Reported by

Gry Hasselbalch Lapenta