>> ANITA GURUMURTHY: Good morning, everybody. We are excited to be here to talk about something that's happening all around us the platformization of the everyday. We are waiting for one more speaker to join us. So we will get started in a couple of minutes. Just give us a couple of minutes.
So good morning again. On behalf of the Dynamic Coalition for platform responsibility and IT for Change, I welcome all of you to this important session on what's now known as the gig economy or shedding economy or the platform economy and it has many names and when we use these terms I don't think all of us mean the same thing. But we feel our lives have been platformized.
I'm feeling powerful with this hammer and this thing. This is the power of the UN.
I will get started by laying out the issues and why we have come to this particular discussion, particular workshop, and then introduce the discussion for first 30 minutes, and then have an hour for discussion. So the first slide, please.
The reason why we are here in terms of looking deeper at issues of cloud platformization, is because platforms are not just, you know, mere bridges or intermediaries but they are to the network age, the Information Society, what the factory has been to the Industrial Revolution. So in that sense, they are very ‑‑ they are constitutive. Platforms are the Sipe of all economic activity around which everything else is organized. So although the Internet economy or the platform economy is a small part of the economy, increasingly, its power to control or its ‑‑ the levers that control the rest of the economy are with the platform companies.
So in that sense, platform companies wield a lot of power. An example would be Alibaba's cloud business they are calling it the new retail strategy. They will offer you end‑to‑end services in organizing your inventory to smart production management to logistics management and all of this will be organized in a way that those who sell their wares on Alibaba are able to avail of these services.
So in a certain sense, this kind of economic restructuring and reorganization, we believe is also spilling over to the rest of society, and so it's not just the economy that's getting reorganized, but actually society as well. What we also notice is that the platform economies is almost parasitic. One excellent example the imminent takeover of Bayer of Monsanto. If you have pharmaceutical and there's a measure that has control over seeds and soil data, then you can imagine how the entire agriculture input markets can be controlled. So in that sense, platforms or platform ‑‑ the platform economy extends over the traditional economy as well.
This leads to questions of distributionable equity, not just at a national level, in terms of who is able to or who is capable of participating in the platform economy but also in terms of global, political, economic questions which come back. So to just give you an example, in the case of India, seven companies on Fortune's Unicorn List are in the technology sector. This entire economy is ‑‑ is comprised of only 2.5% of the national labor force. So largely 80% of India's population is engaged in agriculture. There's a certain distributional equity problem that's arising here.
So we have concern examples for you, and I would like to point out your attention to the key questions that we need to address here, through the regulation and the governance of the digital economy, yes, but also the regulation and governance of many other traditional economies. I just read a news piece today that Uber in the European court has just lost a case, and it's been held as a transport company. So what does it mean actually for regulating new sectors and what does it mean for regulating old sectors? And what do you do about certain sectors which are essentially subnational laws? So you are actually having to contend with a transportation sector which might be regulated completely by municipal laws. What do you do in terms of harmonizing laws a phenomenon which is pan national and others that is subnational and how do we have eCommerce with Tom different players. In Asia or Latin America, you have big players, you also have regional unicorns and then you have the traditional players who are the SMEs and the trade unions and the brick and mortar.
So the policy of most of these countries has to play catch‑up and it's a very, very complex kind of thing and it's not as if the phenomenon is waiting for you to catch up. Things are changing by the day.
And then the most important d word, the regulation of data. You have sites of data access, data use and also data ownership which is often forgot. So while we talk about rights of privacy, of consumers, of consumers, oftentimes there's also in the context of platforms, especially foreign companies that operate on national soil, a monopolistic abuse of data. So that the Japanese regulator, for instance has recently raised a question in terms of anticompetitive, you know, practices for a more fair economy as to what's happening to the data that's being taken away by these global multinational companies.
The question can actually be posed in reverse. So you can ask the question, what's the social value of data that platforms generate. So is there a possibility by which international players can have a kind of national discipline, a legal discipline to share data with, let's say local governments? This makes most logical sense in things like transport sector. So who owns data and can local governments use it for larger communitarian purposes?
Then you have the labor and consumer protection laws which I think there's been enough that's said and enough that's written in terms of definitions, you know who is an employer a trader, and intermediary and what happens to traditional social contracts. Who is an informal worker? Who is a formal worker? And what happens to social protection? And what's with countries who have not even dataifies and digitized and how do they cope with a platform economy regulation.
I would like to also point to you certain new areas because we are very familiar with, let's say, the housing, a bnb and there are certain other emerging areas of the economy, which really is required to be looked at.
And one very important sector, this is rather insidious because it's not quite visible but everybody, you know, who is a small player, a small retail sector person, everybody needs finance. So the way in which b2b lending has changed the micro finance sector has changed is that now it's completely integrated with global financial markets through platformized processes.
So traditionally, they were governed by financial intermediary and now money laundering regulations.
>> Sorry for delay.
>> ANITA GURUMURTHY: Not at all. I'm just setting the stage.
So we now have to deal with questions of investment assets, capital requirements. So FDI essentially, you know, what would be the foreign direct investment, what would be the proportions and data management. So these are new sectors and there is for the global south another very, very significant concern around care work online. So just by going online, is it possible to redefine social perceptions of care work, you know, for ‑‑ especially for women who have been performing care work in the care work economy?
Again, Trip Advisor, travel and tourism platforms, you know, a researcher that we are working with currently is investigating how cultural are performance gets crystallized through these platforms. So that you are projecting sincere and highly rated mail drivers if you were to be in Bali in Indonesia, and you have houses decorated and women posing in front of these houses with floral decorations. And in terms of gender biases how these online rating systems of tourism platforms are reinforcing traditional biases in the economy.
So we are excited to have with us four speakers, one speaker is not present here but his voice and his thoughts will be. So we'll start with Mark Graham and then these names are not appearing in the order of how we will organize the presentations. What we would like to do is lay the stage as to capture the issues and then move on to questions of regulation, particularly from the standpoint of economic justice, equity and inclusion.
And then go on to looking at theoretically, if these things can be regulated for inclusion and equity, are they really being regulated in that way? What is the state of play? Global negotiations, trade negotiations, for instance?
Where do we stand in terms of the textbook kind of possibilities for regulation, which will take care of consumer and citizen rights, and what is really the real politic at play?
So good we have Mark Graham's video? Mark is with the Internet institute.
>> MARK GRAHAM: I'm sorry I can't be here with you today however, my contact details are on the first side and I would be more than happy to follow up with any questions about what I'm saying here.
If you can go to the link at the bottom of the screen, you can learn about the specific projects. Even though I'm not there, thank you very much to the organizers for putting this session together and including me in it.
I would like to look at the confluence of four different stories. First, the world being increasingly defined by labor surplus, secondly the world being increasingly defined by more connectivity, third the invisible labor that's increasingly needed to grease the wheels of our contemporary economy, and the outsourcing on to platforms.
The fact that all of these platform jobs can move potentially anywhere. It means that a lot of people are talking about platform labor, digital labor to positively change the lives of people in low and middle‑income countries. And so for that reason, what I want to do is flag up four key concerns.
Most significant is the bargaining power of workers. Many have very little. Most of the demand for a lot of this platform work comes from a handful countries in the global north but the supply is from all ore the place. There's a huge imbalance in the supply and the demand of this work. Have a look at some work from upwork.com, one the world's largest platforms, for instance, which is what you are looking at on the screen. We compared the potential workforce, the number of profiles and the people who with successful hours. If you look at the country like the Philippines which is 221,000 people registered but only 32,000 people who managed to find any work.
So basically 189,000 people who can't find work, but are looking. There were plenty of examples of online workers who felt powerless to negotiate conditions and rates for their labor, leading issues like low wages, exhaustion and a lack of sleep.
Second value chain reconfigurations. You may expect platforms to disseminate dissemination, but because work is essentially treated like a commodity, we see the exact opposite of work re‑outsourced under unfavorable conditions. So here's an example of a job that a worker got for $23 and was re‑outsourced for $3.50, the same job.
People have very little sense of who they are working for and what purpose their work even serves on economic inclusion. There's some very explicit cases of discrimination help there. Although these work platforms have undoubtedly helped a lot of people find work and income and autonomy and flexibility that they just wouldn't have had otherwise, there are some important problems that need to be plugged up and we see parasitic capitalism and through the pretense of disembedded platforms, be these digital forms, or platforms they give very little back to the places in which they are actually embedded into.
For instance the payment of taxes which rarely happens but they still make use of the institutional and the resource investments of others in those places. When I have more time in talk, what I like to do is go through four types of strategies that we can bring about a fairer world of work.
I talk about the political economy of platforms and point to the promising platform co‑op movement.
But in cases where work is highly commoditized, we find work that's undercutting each other for a lot of work types.
I talk about regulatory strategies and so we get situations like this one on the screen, where platforms boast that they can end contracts at will. The issue, is that there seems to be political will to regulate platforms to support workers in other own countries let alone to regulate them to help workers in other countries, so we need something else.
I talk about labor rights strategies and so workers always laugh when I ask them if they were in a trade union because the understanding amongst them, if they withdraw their labor, their workers in other parts of the world are able to quickly replace them. This is not to say that there are no roles for union, but rather that we need additional strategies to bring pressure to bear on globally operating platforms.
Now, where this brings me is that I think that a lot of worst issues that we see in these virtual production networks that I spoke about, they arise between of the opacity of some of these value chains. Clients may not even know what a living wage is, in a country that they are outsourcing to. They don't know how many hours of work that the contractor is working and so on. Because of the dispersed geography of the work there,'s a lot of opacity in the chain. This is not a new problem. It's one that fair trade has grappled with, trying to make sure that consumers can be confident when they are buy tea or coffee or chocolate.
What I'm doing is starting a new project with Jamie Woodcock, it emulates the fair trade foundation and creates what we call a fair work foundation, to make sure that we can certify key standards that are relevant to the platform economy.
I won't go over all the details of how we think this could work. We are basically developing different schemes for different types of platforms but some of the basic things we want to certify, is make sure that the workers are paid minimum wages regardless of their employment classification and the nonpayment is strictly regulated but worker account deactivations are reviewed by a human and the things I list here and on the website. It would allow us to give clear certification to some platforms and not to others and this would then send clear signals to end users and then ultimately have positive benefits that would reverberate through digital work.
If you want to learn more about the plan, please do get in touch. I hope this project can genuinely help us bringing a fairer world of work into being.
Thank you very much.
>> ANITA GURUMURTHY: Viviana.
>> VIVIANA MUNOZ: Thank you, Anita. I'm very happy to be here. I'm with the organization of developing countries.
So what I would briefly like to touch upon in just this opening comments will be to ‑‑ that we also need to look at the issue of discussing the impacts of the platform economy and the broader context of the trends we see, in particular, with hypergloballization, where there is the sense that we have greater connectivity, greater sharing, the role of private sector increasingly in partnership with public sector being seen as quite efficient, reducing obstacles to access to technologies, to knowledge, and that deregulation and self‑regulation is an effective means for organizing our society.
On the other hand, we see the growing trends around the world where we are reminded that our growing international community that we wanted to build, particularly for the Information Society, has not advanced at the pace we would like to see. We have huge inequalities. We see this recognized in the sustainable development goals and the whole UN framework here in Geneva. So within this context, we need to recognize we are far from this discourse that we have in parallel of the growing opportunities that technology offers us.
Technology as a tool is neutral. This is not a call to say we won't be ramping up and trying to promote more connectivity, access to Internet and use of technologies but we have to see these as these are tools that there is a political economy behind and our goal has to try to address this inequalities and also in hour our digital society is developing.
So what do we see as a fundamental kind of transformation and social, political, and economic life? Social, we can see many platforms. No need to mention here. But that also implies that we see some community weakening locally. We see many times that this might lead us to ‑‑ to analyze some trends of why there is a growing sense of skepticism, even of our neighbors now and the trends of immigration fears, because we lost a sense of our local community one to one, increasing pressures of being part of social networks but then leave us at loss that even our neighbor relations.
And in the economics sphere, clearly we have a model of economic organizations that platforms are part of, but fundamentally, do we see a difference, but what we have in our capitalist society? And perhaps no. We see few examples of some, perhaps very small platforms that are trying to offer different alternatives to, for example, foster more exchanges that are not based on the basic premises we see in the normal market.
So the way we access basic goods and services might have open opportunities but then the interactions of how we see ourselves as individuals interacting with the markets, perhaps is a broader question that we ‑‑ I would say there we don't have a fundamental change.
The hypergloballization trend of leading us to this sense that we must access global markets. Now global market do we really have global market? And even if we have spaces where we can trade goods internationally, our market, our daily local markets should remain something that we should cherish and we should see how current platforms could either pose a risk or an opportunity to foster more local exchange.
Now in the political sense, we clearly see that the rising role of private actor is a general trend in the platform economy. What is the role of governments to make sure that they are able to participate and have equality, not just in the market, but as social actors.
And here we are reminded of the right to development, which is recognized where all peoples are entitled to participate and contribute and enjoy developments, in which all rights and freedoms can be fully realized. So do we have full participation as individuals and communities.
And is ‑‑ do we have a new framework where we are seeing that the individual, the human person, is at the center of these developments? And one question from the social perspective is we increasingly see that once we leave our digital platform economy, focused on ‑‑ not on people, but on data, then we are missing out on the opportunities not just of the economics that changed but the social exchange.
We have questioned raised clearly in many fora, about what is the regulation framework? So do we allow then parties to self‑regulate, and how much governments should intervene and then how much are we accountable to citizens to whose citizens with we don't know where some accountability lies legally.
This is also putting into question our democratic constitutions, where if we continue on ‑‑ planning on our current context, we increasingly find pressures from low and middle‑income parts of society asking for an increased voice and this, if there's no outlet through the markets they will find it politically and we can, of course, discuss them, where we see these trends already.
So, of course, we are discussing here specific aspects of platforms and there's many, many, many of those and for all of those cases we can point out we ‑‑ we can describe, what is these examples in particular with regards to how platforms play.
I think an important specificity on platforms is the fact that we have ‑‑ because of the nature of platforms, the network effects that are creative means that we cannot have ‑‑ when we talk about equal playing field of thinking that we will just have enormous amount of entry players in terms of platforms. Went won't and it would noting realistic to say that we would try to be enabling many other players within platforms because this will not happen, precisely because of the economics of platforms. That's a reality to deal with.
In terms of regulatory strategies, we will have to work with the private sector actors that are behind and we know that these are very, very difficult for government to address, with we know the minimum valuation for a start‑up that's considered now successful, is about $1 billion and the platform economy is how much money behind each platform is there. So this is not easy to replicate.
So I would say in our discussion, I would like to hear more about how do we address the issues of addressing participation in this platform economy, but not necessarily that we focus on creating additional platforms but actually how do we create parallels to those, realizing we may not have many more champions from the ones we have.
>> ANITA GURUMURTHY: Thank you so much, Viviana for the sobering reminder that it's hard to play king in the network age because there are people who got there first, and they first mover advantage.
I would like to move to Luca now. He's just released his book, which I would leave to read. It's called "Platform Regulation." How do we regulate platforms and how do platforms regulate us; is that right?
>> LUCA BELLI: Yes thank you very much. Actually it's a collective book. We have released yesterday. It's the outcome this year the outcome from the platform responsibilities. So there are more than 18 authorities that have drafted quite impressive contributions on the roles and responsibilities that only platform are undertaking and have been delegated by some governments that are, let's say, delegating both regulatory and police functions to some private entities whose obvious main goal is not the protection of introducers of the maximization of the public good but the maximization of the private for‑profit and the implementation of the most cost effective measures.
So this is quite risky path to have advanced delegation of this very important regulatory and police functions to private entities but to make a link to the topic more general topic of this session, I would like to take a step backward.
Actually in 2012, with my colleague, we drafted a paper that was called "Law of the Land Versus Law of the Cloud" because at that time, platforms were cloud services. Now we actually ‑‑ the contribution we have made with some other colleagues with the CTS in the book, is law of the land or law of the platform, because in the second part of the title is beware of the privatization of cyber regulation and cyber police.
Because we have observed a clear tendency towards the delegation of this these functions to the platform for one simple reason because platforms are transnational.
You do not have transnational government. You don't have transnational authority. If you have to rule the transnational space, it's much more efficient to use a proxy, a private platform that can define ‑‑ and actually, the basic observation is the platform combined, a quasi regulatory power, a quasi durable quality and they unilaterally define what is the law of the platform and the terms of service to which everyone has to abide to, if you want to utilize a platform. So it's a take it or leave it standard contract. The provisions of which are unilaterally defined by the platform provider. You don't have any bargaining power.
It's really a contract but your bargaining power is zero because you can only accept the conditions which are defined by another entity or leave it and you don't use the platform. So if you want to, let's say, use Facebook, you can only accept the conditions that are not only defined by Facebook are but another study we did last year on terms of service and human rights, demonstrate that almost 40% of the platform we analyzed, they have also provisions stating that they can unilaterally modify the provisions and they are not obliged to inform the user.
So you are accepting conditions that can be modified at will by the other party, and you will not be informed. So that is much more pervasive than the law of the land, because at least you know if the parliament is changing the law, you can call your representative and you will be informed. You will know it. The law of the platform is much more feudal type of legislation. It's like the law of cyberspace that defines what rules you have to abide to and you simply abide to.
What is more pervasive, these laws are automatically implemented in the architecture of the platform. You can only undertake the behavior that has been defined by the contractual rules and even more ‑‑ more tricky is the algorithmic implementation of the rules because the algorithms that, for instance, tell you which kind of information you will receive in your timeline, they are not even ‑‑ the criteria are not even specified in the terms of service. So this is an opaque body of regulation. It's regulation. It's algorithm regulation. It's not even defined in terms of service.
In terms of service, also define a very ‑‑ not opaque, but very vague way, how your data will be collected and by whom. 80% of the platform we analyze in the other study that we did last year, evaluates freely ‑‑ everything is freely available online. The terms of service study, if you just type our URL, you can download it.
The book, tiny URL/platform regulations, you are free to download it.
As I was saying, the data that's collected in 80% of the cases are shared with third parties, non‑specified, to improve the service. So this actually is something that really challenges the basis of data protection, because the base ‑‑ the very core of data protection is that people express informed consent to the collection and the processing of their data. This is the core of any data protection framework around the world. More than 110 and almost everyone adopts this information or serve the termination system, meaning that the user has to be duly informed and would ‑‑ the choice will simply be clicking, yes, I have read the conditions which everyone has done here without reading the contract.
When you accept the conditions without reading the contract, if means that you accept that everything that's in the contract will be applied. Part of this is that your data, the most valuable resource in the world as everyone is saying since almost ten years, it will be collected and processed by an entity according to what the entity says and shared with the partners that you will not know for reasons that sometimes you don't even know. So that is the reason why I'm saying that this challenges the basis of data protection because if you don't know who is going to use your data and how, how can you be informed ‑‑ informed of the reasons the purposes for which your data will be collected? So it's virtually impossible.
Let's assume you read the conditions which is something that 99% of people do not do. And there is an interesting study, by McDonald and Kramer in 2009, they prove that you would need 76 days per year to read the conditions of your services. So I'm really sure that no one reads the conditions. But even if you read them ‑‑ by the way, there was another study about OACD about literacy. In the most developed countries, only 30% of the people have the literacy skills to understand the contract.
It's drafted not to be understandable and imagine how those people can understand it in developing countries less than 30%. Imagining in the developing world, how people can really understand what they are doing and what ‑‑ how the data is collected.
So coming back to the quasi ‑‑ and I'm finished with this. Of the platform's power, they can only take ‑‑ they can take a unilateral decisions. So let's say, an abusive content is busted it will be removed or your account will be closed and blocked.
And in 80% of platforms say you will not even be notified in your account is closed. So imagine how could you have a way of redress if you don't even know that your account has been suppressed and why. So this makes it virtually impossible to seek redress and sorry if I take just one last 30 seconds to say only one other thing.
This is what is not only combination of three powers that are traditionally separated. What seems strange in the '80s called structural power. The way in which you can define how people do things. It is not the way of imposing your will to other people, but it's a way to define how other people, natural person, how they can interact among themselves.
If you want to utilize Facebook as a commercial entity, you have to utilize Facebook app. You have to train your commercial people to utilize Facebook tools and you will spend a lot of money to do this, or to train people in this way and you will have to respect the policies defined by Facebook and the standard apps defined by Facebook, the social graph by Facebook, if you want to collect data and know how people will use your service, your product, in certain specific area.
So if you want to build an economy, you have to utilize a tool predefined by another entity. So if we want to allow people, particularly in developing world to contribute to development of the digital future, which is the team of this IGF, well, I think that we should give them more efficient instrument to understand how ‑‑ at least how they have been regulated by the others, and to construct the digital future by themselves and not been digitally colonized by others.
>> ANITA GURUMURTHY: Okay. Thank you so much, Luca, and I would like to take a question that Viviana posed and to pose it back to Sonia who is from Third World Network. And do we have global markets? Lived in a time for the past 20, 25 years in the global south, having to believe that there is such a thing called free trade and now we have been told that if only, you know, you can have free data flows, for instance, you know, everyone can compete in the global market on an equal footing.
And Luca has told us how the power of certain formulations and certain ways by which truth is given to us, makes us believe.
Sonia is just back from Buenos Aries where she was on the front lines from civil society, at the WTO, and so from your experiences of looking at the eCommerce preparation at WTO, please tell us what you think about platforms.
>> PANELIST: I'm a trade lawyer with ‑‑ third World Networks and we look at the trade rules on various laws and policies and I will try to go through some of the ways that the current and the proposed trade rules can restrict the ability to regulate platforms in the ways that have been recommended by the other speakers.
So the World Trade Organization which is based here in Geneva has 164 member countries. It is not multi‑stakeholder. It's government to government negotiation only. Only governments are in the room. So the ministerial conference in Buenos Aries last week I was there as civil society but I couldn't get into the room. I was in the hotel lobby or five blocks away in the NGO center and some of you might have known 64 people from NGOs were disaccredited for the ministerial and they didn't get them reaccredited even though they were reaccredited earlier.
The first thing I want to look at is the existing trade rules in the WTO that can restrict certain types of regulational platforms. So some platforms can be problematic. For example, in some cities, so many people are renting out their apartments and houses to tourists on Airbnb that the locals cannot afford to buy or rent somewhere to live.
So some cities have restricted Airbnb, they have said you can't operate here or you can't have any new housing or cut down the amount of housing, but this is not allowed under the trade rules if you have liberalized that service sector at the WTO or in a free trade agreement because then you cannot restrict the amount of companies providing these type of services or the amount of housing that each one has.
But the first thing is, what is the service sector that Airbnb is. Is it accommodations or is it a computer‑related service. We don't know. So we can't fell for the 164 countries at the WTO where they liberalized Airbnb or not. The same for Uber. Is it a transport service or a computer service? So can UK ban it.
Many are negotiating services, and free trade agreements and if you liberalize whatever second Airbnb is, you can't restrict how much it operates in our regions or cities or so on. The.
The second thing I wanted to talk about is the privacy of your data on platforms. Left's look at, for example, your credit card details. If you ‑‑ going online to buy things on Amazon.com or air tickets, whatever, you might want the website to use HTTPS to make sure that your credit card details cannot be stolen. Some governments require this. They say you must have certain level of security to make sure that your credit card details are not stolen.
But the eCommerce at the World Trade Organization restrict your ability to do this. Now in the WTO, there's no mandate yet to negotiate eCommerce rules. The existing mandate has let us discuss the issue of eCommerce and figure out whether Airbnb is a computer‑related service, but not negotiate new rules.
But at the ministerial conference, 70 countries said we want to negotiate eCommerce rules and they are going to try to get those negotiations, say, next year.
And one of the proposals that has already been made at the WTO by the EU and other countries, they have to leave it to countries to decide how it can be.
So you choose online banking and then you can't require online shopping to have HTTPS and this has been more extreme in the EU/Mexico free trade. They must allow companies to choose their level of security and they can't require two factor bank authentication and if your credit card numbers are stolen they don't care, the WTO.
In the WTO, there's a proposal by Japan for cross border data flows at all times with no privacy exceptions and also no ability to require data to be stored locally, even if it's health data, financial data and so on.
So if this is agreed to, this means that Facebook can transfer to EU citizens where it can be sold to banks and deny you credits and be sold to health insurance companies because on Facebook, you said I was just diagnosed with cancer and all of this is okay under Japan's proposal at the WTO.
Even in the privacy exception applied, it's very difficult to use. It's part of a general exception which countries have tried to use 44 times and succeeded once asbestos. The private exception has another provision which says you can only use it for laws which are already consistent with the WTO rules. For example, a new rule that allows cross border data flows in all circumstances with no privacy exceptions. So a lot of experts say this is a useless exception.
They thought this was not good enough to copy into the trade and service agreements, and so the EU's DD justice which is responsible for the privacy laws stopped the whole negotiations while they figured out a better exception from the WTO privacy exception.
You probably saw the tweet from the data protection supervisor who said that data protection should not be subject to trade negotiations. He thought these useless privacy exceptions would not be enough and that the rules preventing data localization could water down the EU's data protection rules and open them to challenge. So he was very clear that this should not be negotiated.
Nevertheless, the EU's DDG trade has cross data.
Others when you want data stored locally in terms of platforms is in New Zealand they require tax records if they are stored on the cloud for that cloud to be located in New Zealand so that if the government is having a tax evasion investigation, they can actually get hold of Google's records, Facebook's records, Uber's record and see if they are doing tax evasion. Because otherwise you have to rely on one of these mutual legal assistance treaties which a former US prosecutor said here at the IGF are just impossible to use. You will never get that data you need to tax the platforms.
And of course, there are other reasons why they need financial storage for financial regulation, privacy, security and so on which would not be allowed by these proposals in the trade agreements.
The next thing I wanted to cover, you heard a lot about the power of platforms and how they can squeeze workers who are working through platforms and so on. And I wanted to give you an example of some studies that have been done by SMEs trying to sell online, on platforms like Amazon.com. Already these SMEs have to pay 40% of their sales on commissions to these platforms. Of sales not profits! It's a huge amount of money!
And the thing is if you want to sell online apparently half of all online shopping searches start on Amazon.com. So if you want to sell your umbrellas or your shirts online, you have to list them on Amazon.com.
But Amazon.com, if you don't pay them enough fees, then they change the algorithm, so your umbrella is the number 1,000 in the search for umbrellas and they delay the shipping and so three squeeze you, squeeze you, until you pay the even higher fees and this is a study by an US organization.
Furthermore, Amazon also manufacturers umbrellas.
If you search for umbrellas on Amazon, 75% of the time, the first result in the automatic buy box is Amazon's even if it's more expensive than the SMEs who paid so much to list on that platform. So this is already happening to SMEs trying to sell on these platforms, but the proposed rules on eCommerce in trade agreements would further entrench the dominance of these platforms.
You probably know that 30% of the Amazon's sales are generated by the recommendation engine. If you go online and buy something on Amazon, they say other people bought this, right? And then you buy all of these things because it's a really good recommendation. They know if you like this you also like this. If it's just before due alley in India, you probably want to buy this.
So the cross border data flows in these trade agreements that you have to allow all of this data to go out of your countries to Amazon further increases the dominance of Amazon and squeeze SMEs.
If you are worried that Amazon is abusing, by putting their products first in the algorithm search, even it's more expensive and the competition authority wants to investigate this or the antitrust, they want to look at the algorithm or the source code that puts Amazon's items first.
They banned the government regulators to, this even fatal Toyota car crashes and high frequency trading but including anticompetitive conduct. So the government regulator can never figure out if they are abusing dominance, for example in their software.
Lastly, as has been mentioned physical shops are having trouble competing with online shopping platforms and there's been various studies and surveys showing how many have had to close down and like 700 big box stores in the US and 22,000 main street businesses in one year alone, and it's not just the impact on the small shops but also the tax revenue, the property taxes from these physical shops.
So 55% of the tax revenue of Portland was from property taxes and 40% was from commercial taxes. When the local shops shut down, not only are the local jobs lost but the local tax, and where do they pay for police or rubbish collection or so on.
So just coming to an end. You heard about the problems in the first presentation of underpaying people who are working via platforms for gig works and so on.
So if you wanted to make sure that platforms comply, that Uber pays their drivers a minimum wage and you want to sue Uber? Who do you sue? Whose assets do you seize to enforce your labor law. So in the name of eCommerce, the EU said you can't require platforms to have a local presence. You can't require them to have an office in country to enforce your labor laws and there's some possible exceptions. So only 2349 sectors that you list can you require a platform to have a local office. But, again, what sector is Uber? Is it transport or computer? There are many other ways in which the proposed trade rules make it harder to regulate platforms. I'm happy to talk to anyone who is interested but you can see that the current and proposed tray rules, whether it's at the WTO or a free trade agreement can restrict your ability to regulate platforms in the types of ways that have been recommended by the earlier speakers.
>> ANITA GURUMURTHY: Thanks so much, Sonia.
So without much ado and just by pointing out to the whole significance of structures of control in a platformizing society and economy, I would like to open up the floor for questions and discussions.
So Sonia is requesting that you might want to introduce yourselves and specify the name of the organization that you come from.
>> PARTICIPANT: Thanks, Jonathan Zook. This is a lot of interesting presentations. I guess I find it really unfortunate that all the platform companies that you invited to be part of the panel all declined to participate. Because it feels as though there's a one‑sided perspective coming from the panel. I don't have a dog in the fight, from the sector that's being discussed.
>> PARTICIPANT: Hi, my name is Geovan, and I have the Macedonian mission here in Geneva. I have seen a lot of proposal for blockchain to be adapted to some of these uses. So, for instance, for Airbnb or for those kinds of aspects where it's not just one central corporation that's holding and then getting out, but really the owners are all of those people who have their own apartments and then the ‑‑ you know, there are nodes in a blockchain, and it creates a private entity. I would love to hear from anyone, really, to thoughts about all of these aspects, but mostly the one thing that I think is the key here is the aspect of the fiscal ‑‑ the fiscal aspect, the aspect of taxation, because that is the way wealth can be redistributed if one goes that way, if wealth is being accumulated in any given way, the most effective way for that to be alleviated for the good of most, if not all, is for ‑‑ to have their ‑‑ for there to be some kind of fiscal instrument where wealth is redistributed. So those two, although, it's related, I would love to hear comments from all.
>> PARTICIPANT: Thank you very much for the great panel. My name is Stephanie, from the University of Amsterdam.
I would like to add something to the first person would commented. As you already pointed out, the people we are talking about, the company, the platforms are not here in the room. The next question for me, is the multi‑stakeholder model fit for the challenge? How can we, you know, participate in these discussions coming from where we are at the IGF and this relates to the future of the IGF and its role.
>> ANITA GURUMURTHY: We will take two more questions and come back to the panel.
>> PARTICIPANT: Hi. My name is Abbey Vulne from GitHub. I wanted to thank the panel for an excellent set of issues that you raised and to the point of platforms being in the room and responding, I'm very happy this came up because at GitHub, we really take seriously our ‑‑ I mean, I feel like saying it. It sounds very trite, but please allow me to elaborate. We really do recognize the role that platforms have and the responsibilities that are being delegated to us and we want to do it right.
So with respect to what Luca was bringing up about terms of service, I'm really proud to say that we involve our community in the development of our community guidelines and our terms of service.
So GitHub, for people who may not know it, is the world's leading software development platform which basically it means where most people write and share their code. So we ‑‑ a lot of those projects are open sourced and so we open source the policies that govern what happens on our site. So users who go to GitHub to write and share code and whatever else they may do that's code like, I'm a lawyer and we use it for legal ‑‑ everybody at GitHub uses GitHub for everything. So for whatever we are using it for to know what those standards that are governing the use of their website is not only crucial but being involved in the development of them is also really crucial and it contributed to the legitimacy of the platform.
So not only trying to go tout and say how proud I am of this, I want to also put that standard out there for other companies as a best practice and by open sourcing it, we have it out there for other people to use and adopt as they see fit.
So I'm happy to talk to anybody in further detail but wanted to highlight that there are some positive examples out there and hopefully we can work with civil society to highlight those examples where we can get more momentum behind it and make it become the industry standard.
>> PARTICIPANT: Just a short question. I'm Pedro from institute for research and Internet Society from Brazil.
Most of the platform and the platform responsibility have been concerning the form of western apps that are super specialized in specific things like social, transformation, Airbnb but we see a trend especially in China that may come to the west as well and the rest of the world of super apps that just get all those functions together, so if you had a problem, a differentiation between the Airbnb being information service, or housing service, it's even more complicated because the same app would be all of them. We believe the same problems will remain or we will face a completely different challenge and how it will change if it does.
>> LUCA BELLI: Well, I would like to make two comments. One from the lady from GitHub, I'm really happy that there's some democratic platform regulators. I mean, the fact ‑‑ my observation is a very objective observation of the role that platforms are playing. You may have a very participatory regulator as GitHub seems to be. You can also have an interested and biased regulator.
The important thing for me is that we recognize, and then we can work together to make them look like GitHub or be a victim of what will happen. But at least we have a starting point we understand how things work and we all agree on this.
The comment on the emergence, I wouldn't say there's a tendency on super app. There's one super app, that is we chat that has everything, but honestly, yesterday I was in a panel on cyber bricks and even the Chinese representative was sharing fear of monopoly and he didn't directly mention, we chat but it was quite easy to understand that this was the super app, the monopolist app that he was referring to. I don't see other super app and honestly, unless very big apps already exist, that have already the user base necessary then to turn to the regular app in a super app as we chat did at the very beginning was a social network and then added a plethora of functionality to become a future April. So unless very few dominant applications exist, decide to turn the application into a super app, it's very, very difficult to have ‑‑ to have other super apps emerging. Because to have a super app, you need a super customer base, a super user base and it's something that you have to build before having the super app. It's very tricky to make platform users move from their platform to another platform, particularly when platforms ‑‑ another thing I didn't mention because we have time constraints is the importance of behavioral design. The platforms are designed for people to stay on the platforms. It's what psychologists call variable rewards.
When you don't know what ‑‑ it's like the slot machine. When you don't know what will be the result, you are extremely intrigued and almost addicted to what you are doing and so you keep on checking your Facebook account or your Twitter account, just imagine what is your favorite app that you check when you wake up. That's a symptom of addiction. The first thing that you do in the morning, if you smoke a cigarette or if you check this specific app, it means that you are addicted to that product, right?
This is not a coincidence. I mean, there's even some meetings, called the behavior summit where people discuss how to make more addictive products. It's ‑‑ it's, again, I'm ‑‑ it ‑‑ if you know that you are using addictive product and you want to use it, as being a smoker, you are absolutely free to do it. What you are not free to do it, I think, is to sell a highly addictive product to manipulate people to collect their data even use them without telling them. It is manipulation. It is not regular business practices, right?
So, again, we ‑‑ if ‑‑ we can all agree that this kind of pattern is the best possible ever, but we have to know it and I don't see a lot of information about this. We have just now receiving the first study about the impact of psychological impact that platform may have on user, the fact that these platform, they are so good because they are highly addictive.
>> PANELIST: I would like to comment on blockchain. Of the technology itself on blockchain, it will depend on how it develops. As you know, there's a lot of interest and business models being developed around it and so people are looking and lots of start‑ups of how to make money behind blockchain. I think in principle, using blockchain can eliminate more intermediaries for the users and those involved can be very useful.
But, again, the concern will be what's the business model behind and then those that are making available that business in the business context, you know, what will be the same kind of rules that we'll have to adapt as being customers under these that are being provided.
I think this will be the next area that ICT, or IGF, and I probably haven't been following in detail, will need no look at in more detail.
>> PANELIST: You can't require tax records to be stored locally. So if you want to veg whether there's tax evasion, how do you get the records for another country.
If you can't require a platform like Amazon or Uber or Airbnb to have a local office, it may restrict the jurisdiction to tax them? They are making profits in your country from consumers and your citizens.
The other thing that taxes can be affected is that some tax authorities such as in the US require access to the source code, the software and this is, for example, the accounting or the tax return software that companies use or that people use, if they can't reasonably ascertain the correctness of the item on the tax return in any other way, the US tax authorities have the power to inspect the source code of the tax preparation software to take it away and to share it with certain experts and so on and this would be prohibited under the EU and Japanese proposal it's he WTO and it's not clear if there is sufficient tax exceptions there or other free trade agreements.
I didn't do tax law in my law degree but these are some of the ways I notice that eCommerce proposals can affect your ability to effectively tax platforms and even other companies.
>> LUCA BELLI: Another observation. Personal data is the most valuable resource. We keep hearing it, the new oil, the most valuable resource and repeat it again and again. Why? Because it's true. Together with other people and there is also some of them here in the room, we have ‑‑ we are promoting a different approach which is the my data approach, which is ‑‑ it is based not on having the platform storing all of your data and keeping them forever, but it is based on having a my data custodian. It's a data bank.
Just imagine a bank, a regular bank, your most valuable resource is maybe your money. So you put your money in the bank and then the bank can use it to make investment, but if you want to withdraw your money and go to a different bank, you are free to do that.
There's not case with data. You store your data in the platform and you leave it there forever. Period. You cannot withdraw your data and go to another data provider that offers you better conditions. So the my data approach, tries to revert this logic from a platform‑centered model to an individual centered model, where you define what ‑‑ who is the my data custodian that can keep your data. They are open and interoperable and so you can perfectly say I want Facebook to use my data and Facebook will use your data to whatever purpose you define is acceptable.
But you will not ‑‑ but you will not have Facebook or whatever ‑‑ I don't want to victimize or to speak only about Facebook but let's imagine whatever platform you want.
So the current system is that they collect your data and they have them forever. The my data approach is based on having my data custodian that will keep your data in open format and you will define how the data will be used. This' already some good example here in Switzerland, if you check on the Internet, it's called medata.cop. It's a cooperative, it's a Swiss company that defines how your medical data will be used for research, for other purposes and these people are in power of how their data is used and the medata custodian is keeping them. And if they decide that someone has better conditions and protecting them better, they can move them because they are open and interoperable and there are other tools that we may consider.
>> PANELIST: I forgot to answer the question about we chat. We have to know what service sector something belongs to, to figure out whether we have opened it to foreign companies or not and how we can regulate it and so on and this is common in the WTO or the free trade agreements. I don't know if we chat is a computer‑related service or a financial service. I don't know in Amazon is a retail service or a transport or computer related service or logistic service. So it is very hard to tell whether we have already liberalized these in each of our countries, if we have liberalized them, how we can regulate them and so on because in the WTO, for example, they are negotiating new rules on how you can regulate services, that would probably apply to the service sectors that you liberalized at the WTO, but how do you know if you liberalized that platform when it goes across so many things?
And the other thing I forgot to mention was that there's been a lot of talk about how eCommerce can help small and medium enterprises but when you look at the actual proposed eCommerce rules at the WTO, they can be used to increase the power of the platforms and so last week at the WTO conference, the Latin America, Asia and so on representing millions of SMEs says we don't want the proposed WTO eCommerce laws because they will harm us. Don't do it in our name because they will further squeeze us and help the platforms, for example.
>> PARTICIPANT: My name is Peter Sheehan and I'm from the university of Cambridge. I want to pick up on a couple of things. The blockchain idea is actually quite interesting, but I ‑‑ I'm interested more in sort of the medium to ‑‑ the medium term, and that blockchain may sort of become more useful competition and see it empower ‑‑ in the long term but in the short term, intermediaries still remain very relevant and so I appreciate Luca's sort of development of this idea of the my data approach, of how can we think about empowering end users over intermediaries in the short‑term. And I have just wanted to raise sort of another idea that I have been talking with a colleague about and that is the idea of a data driven union in essence, and so we can think of the data bank for maybe an analog of Facebook but what about the micro working platforms or what about ride sharing or ride hailing applications if you could imagine a scenario in which these companies would be mandates to share information with a union, suddenly we would have data on how working conditions were in the aggregate.
This data could be used either to apply current labor law or to empower the union to then lobby government with effective data on how bad the conditions are.
I'm interested to hear anyone's thoughts on the matter. Thanks.
>> PARTICIPANT: Thank you. I'm Parminder from IP for change. I appreciated the presentations. Thank you so much. I think having describes the structures of power very well. We are now interested in seeking what to do about it. At the national level, the challenge is whether we seek individual responses, very individualized kind of response to this huge structural or the collective responses or if both, what are the proportions between the two.
Luca talked about the collectivized and it's an initiative to do it.
We are looking at more collectivized responses, for example, even a state response. India has, for example, developed some digital and data infrastructures. We know the problem which state ‑‑ getting state into the data systems brings along, but I think there are different political questions. The questions about how much regulation and the date‑based responses and how much still responses and individuals getting together. would work, because especially in developing countries where the resources and the skills are very low it's difficult for them to do those kind of initiatives. It requires say lot of initiatives and capabilities to do that and whether if we can have, you know, well institutionalized systems.
As I said, India is doing some work on that. I think EU has some policies on which the state works on data and health and transportation and some other areas in India.
And secondly we know that most of the platforms are global and to look at this. Unless we have interoperable policy systems globally and in some common norms it will be difficult for global business to survive. What is the role of the international law?
Sorry, that didn't answer the question about why there's no representative of the ‑‑ the platforms on the panel. I'm sure the organizers would have tried to find it. It happens when the structure of power is huge and well established, as the big Internet companies and platforms are, that people discussed that structure of power, even in the absence of the representative of that power.
We do it all the time with governments. I have seen many rooms discussing about government abuse of power. Without the government guy on the platform and exercise similar kinds of structures of power and I don't think there's a big problem, I'm discussing it without having a Google or Facebook on the platform.
And also it's very interesting, you know, coming from an older policy norms, rather than at multi‑stakeholder norm. This was a time when a policy discussion was going on, people will ask has anyone a private interest in this policy discussion and the possibly walk out in the room if someone had a private interest in that discussion. And I think that was also exalted democratic norm which now seems to be inversed and says you cannot have a discussion, unless you have a big role of that private interest in that policy discussion.
I think this balance of perspectives have to be kept in mind. Thank you.
>> PANELIST: It was interesting what you were suggesting about the data sharing for labor and so on, because I was happening to see that under the Obama administration, the US governments, Federal Trade Commission actually forced data brokers, nine data brokers to give them information about data collection and data use practices so they could actually see what they were doing and then they wrote a thick report about it and they could tell us things about one data broker has 3,000 data segments for nearly every US company and we only know that because the US government forced the data brokers to tell them what they were doing. There's some precedent in this area and then I guess depending on your domestic laws whether it's feasible to figure out what is going on and enforce laws and so on.
>> PARTICIPANT: Just a comment because I know ‑‑ I provided a lot of food for thought. So I ‑‑ I just wanted to clarify, with ape comment on what you were saying about the individualized approach. I would not consider my data as an individualized approach because it seems to put the individual at the center because he can ‑‑ he or she can take the decision of how the date are utilized, but the role of the custodian could be perfectly undertaken by any kind of business. If you had government mandating the use of my data as a policy ‑‑ as a standard policy, meaning that every individual has to be ‑‑ has the rights to have his data collected by a collected ‑‑ a custodian of his choice that will provide to this individual the conditions, and there are a lot of businesses this could do it. I mean, I'm not ‑‑ I don't want to give any suggestion but banks or telecommunicator or postal services they have the ability. They do have the capability to collect data to and to use them and give access to data, only to those who are allowed by data subject.
And if they were not doing the work ‑‑ their job properly, as data are collected, and storing it in an interoperable function, the individual they could change custodian. So you have a great amount of competition amongst who gives the best condition, the best protection to the user.
So it is not really individual. It's a multi‑stakeholder approach if you want. I mean, now it's very ‑‑ it's really at the early stages, but if enough people are aware of the existence and try to lobby for it, lobbying in a positive way, meaning presenting the benefits and policies that are favorable in this correction, I have think that this could be a very sustainable and also very good for business because you would have data custodians that are local, not global enterprise, localized, somewhere else.
Or even global enterprise somewhere else if they have better conditions for you.
>> ANITA GURUMURTHY: So I'm batting in and there are panelists who are better positioned to talk about this I want to come back to my colleague about what is the role of multi‑stakeholders on this debate of platforms when you see the unprecedented power. I'm using my license to reinterpret your question.
I think I would like to ask the question as a subquestion to something that's a bigger question. That question, is what is the role of public interest or policies related to public interest in the platform economy?
I think that's the first question for me, and therefore the next question for me is where is the social contract going, you know? Because what we have seen effectively today through all the presentations is that there's an absolute breakdown of social contract. You know, you are actually seeing a formalization of certain sectors of the economy but they are all gig.
So to that extent, even in the formal economy, these workers don't have rights and you are actually seeing in Mark's research in Nigeria that the wages are spiraling downward. What they are actually seeing is that worker interest, public interest, user interests, consumer interests and citizen interests, they are all at, held at ransom.
What is it that needs to be done through public policy at the global and the national level for public interest and for the social contract. Once you ask that question, indeed, there is a place for multi‑stakeholder involvement, because that multi‑stakeholder methodology will have to follow the compass which is about public interest and the social contract.
So the public interest and the social contract includes ideas of competition, ideas of level playing field ideas of private interest. Indeed of innovation and such.
I would also like to point out in the case of GitHub discussion with ‑‑ between Luca and yourself, that I think that it's possible to put certain things within the ambit of a private contract. So if you look at digital transactions and in the digital economy, it's possible to say that, you know, you can develop and build code ‑‑ you know do that in an open way and then terms of services can be transparent and not opaque and you can inform users. That could be a good practice scenario.
Let's take a completely different kind of scenario where the user is not involved. What is at stake is the life of the person who is not even connected. I'm referring to one of the small and medium enterprises in India, and just to go by statistics, 5% of SMEs in the Indian context are connected. They have the Internet and they are not online.
The rest are not online. So 95% is not online. Now, in the platform economy, what do you do? I mean, they are not even anywhere close to any terms of season, but the entire platformization of the economy is having a direct impact at Sonia research study shows us about how they will survive. Now, what is the role for public policy in the context of this kind of complete retail supply chain getting reengineered. There's a role for private contracts that I want to reassert again but what happens again going by your example of a persuasive economy, you know, people have ‑‑ psychologists are talking about persuasion economics and persuasion politics. We know how elections are won. We will join this endless quest for consumption through the persuasion economy.
How do you at a larger public interest level, wanting to be a part of this. If we all want to be consumers in capitalism, so be it. Then we really need a framework which doesn't exist. I would like to think of a little bit about the public and social value of data, which may be important for public authorities or a custodian like the telecom regulatory authority, who is independent of the executive and who has like the commission commissioner, or the data commissioner who can audit them and actually decide that this is actually an anticompetitive practice or who can decide that this data, you know, collected by Uber has public data or this personal data collected by Facebook has value to govern my municipality or my village, et cetera.
Unless you actually stop thinking about the public value based models for data, we will constantly end up reemphasizing that which we seek to critique, by which I mean that if we have a sudden critique of not wanting to end up as a data bit, we will precisely be doing that. We have the right to shop between custodians but whether our lives collectively or the life of a small and medium enterprise will get better is a moot point.
>> Now the we are getting some. Where let me try to tie my thoughts with what you just kind of put there on the ‑‑ for us to think about, and as well as what the colleague from University of Cambridge mentioned, and it's ‑‑ it's actually a thought that's ‑‑ that I have been discussing with some friends quite a while ago. I was involved in Internet Governance with WSIS. And we were discussing how data becomes a political aspect, a political tool and how, perhaps what unionization did in terms of protecting worker rights several decades ago might be the approach to the ‑‑ a response to how citizens take responsibility over their data, in a collective manner and this is exactly what also ‑‑ what Luca was saying that it's an individual right but it's protected by a collective, and it's ‑‑ it has to be approached in that way, where we collectively say we ‑‑ we give you the right to use our data under these conditions.
But any one individual can to the do that.
You have to be a part of a collective, that collectively says we all agree that our individual rights have to be protected in this way. And for that ‑‑ I say I have been involved in as a government sector, and private sector and different iterations of it, and I'm really disturbed, even at the opening ceremony, the formal part of it, that, again, almost every IGF, government, is put as the boogie man, and it's a very dangerous trend, that that is so.
It's always that we want some predictability but we don't want regulations. The government should not be involved in this. Yes, there is some sense to that, and there's a reason behind that, because some governments have abused domestically their ‑‑ the aspect of governance but not all of them have that ‑‑ have done that. Governments are necessary to empower these kinds of discussions.
We can protect rights all of these rights have to be somehow put into the legality.
We cannot be talking in any way, in any abstract form about this. The entity of statehood is necessary. The governance is the state. It's been different ones but currently it is that. That has to be used to protect the rights we are talking about, otherwise there are no ‑‑ or other ways. There's revolutionary ways of doing it, that it's always been historically an option, but 9 calm, the regulated ‑‑ the good form of protecting rights is within the boundaries of a national jurisdictions or some kind of jurisdictions. It doesn't have to be by borders, but jurisdictions.
>> ANITA GURUMURTHY: I would like to reformulate that in my thoughts by saying, I think all governments have abused their powers sometimes, rather than ‑‑ rather than saying some governments are good and others are bad, all governments have state power in their hands and for use or abuse, and the latest civic report says that only 3% of the world's population lives in a place where civil society lives in a mace where their rights are not repressed. So that leaves 97% with the rights to be threaten.
Any last thoughts from our panelists? Maybe not?
>> I would like to speak a lot. In my last thought, is that ‑‑ I mean to compliment what the gentlemen from Macedonia was saying that when we are ‑‑ when we treat the government as the boogie man, well, it means that the only subject Ma that can really protect us are the boogie men and we don't trust them.
Here to compliment what he was saying, here's where the multi‑stakeholder model comes as useful because if you have different people providing different opinions and supporting their claim with data, then you can have a very informed conversation and you can request government to adopt policies that are in public interest because you can understand what is the public interest, and you can ask them to implement what is objectively the public interest.
Now, if we keep on saying that government ‑‑ I mean, some governments have been behaving as the boogie men and that's the reason why many people say that they are the boogie men but if you have objective data on which you have an informed debate and make decision, it's much less easy to be the boogie man without being conceived as the boogie man. If you take your decision because there's specific data that says there's ail right decision, you can't say that the government is the boogie men. As the one that has taken the right decision to protect you. So I would urge to have a multi‑stakeholder debate to inform how efficient policy can be taken.
>> ANITA GURUMURTHY: Thank you very much to everybody. This was a lot of food for thought and I really hope that this galvanizes many debates in the upcoming IGFs.