Privacy and data protection investigations on the rise, Internet access disrupted in many regions and AI developments continue at full speed were among the main digital policy trends in July and August 2019.
'Who do I call if I want to call Europe?' asked Kissinger a few decades ago. The essence of Kissinger’s question could easily translate to the digital context: who do we call to solve our digital problems? And I would even go a step further and ask ‘who is picking up the phone?’
The more digitalisation impacts our lives, the more we will hear calls from citizens, companies, and countries for digital policy solutions in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI), e-commerce, cyber-money, fake news, child safety, and more.
The challenges in the digital sphere are met with a multitude of calls for action and declarations worldwide. In this spirit, EuroDIG 2019 has sent a strong signal on the need for stakeholders to strengthen their co-operation within the digital ecosystem. Now that EuroDIG 2019 is over, here are the most important updates, trends, and discussions from the annual conference.
Barbados will host the 15th United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) quadrennial meeting in October 2020. It will be the first small state to host the conference. According to the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Motley, hosting the conference will place Barbados at the centre of the global discussion on trade and development issues.
On 24 June, the digital policy community in Geneva gathered to discuss ways of implementing the final report of the UN High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation, The Age of Digital Interdependence.
More than 80 participants from international organisations, diplomatic missions, academia, business, and civil society, contributed with concrete action points that could potentially see the report materialise in the months to come. The ‘Contributions from Geneva’ come one week after the report was officially launched in Geneva on 17 June.
Some 28 participants from 25 countries around the world attended and successfully completed the Introduction to Digital Policy and Diplomacy course, running from 25 March to 15 May 2019, in New York. This was the second session of this interactive blended learning course offered by the Geneva Internet Platform (GIP) and DiploFoundation in co-operation with the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the UN in New York.
The continuing controversy around Huawei; the Christchurch call aiming to eliminate online violent extremism; and facial recognition technology raising alarms were among the main digital policy trends in May 2019.