[Privsec] from Bertrand: Re: reworked theme proposal for IGF: "People-Centred Digital Identity and Privacy"

Ralf Bendrath bendrath at zedat.fu-berlin.de
Mon Apr 3 14:22:25 BST 2006

Somehow Bertrand's mail does not get through, though I had just accepted 
it in the moderation queue. Well, here it is then.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	Re: reworked theme proposal for IGF: "People-Centred Digital
Identity and Privacy"
Date: 	Fri, 31 Mar 2006 10:38:58 +0200
From: 	Bertrand de La Chapelle <bdelachapelle at gmail.com>
To: 	Ralf Bendrath <bendrath at zedat.fu-berlin.de>
CC: 	WSIS Privacy&Security WG <privsec at wsis-cs.org>, Garth Graham
<garth.graham at telus.net>
References: 	<442C9E68.3060603 at zedat.fu-berlin.de>

Dear Ralf,

Thank you very much for having taken the time to do this. Your draft is
a very good input document at that stage. Good replacement of
user-centric with people- centric and replacement of Identity and
Privacy by Privacy and Identity.

In general, I have too minor suggestions for corrections to bother you
with them, except for one comment regarding the "concise formulation".

You write :

     The IGF can greatly help strengthening the Trust Framework through
     supporting new systems of digital privacy and identity that centre
     identity around the people and foster privacy, and through open
     public participation in their design and application.

It is probably too early in the game to describe the IGF's role as
"supporting" one approach (already looks like recommendations and does
not seem neutral enough). The IGF is a deliberative space to address
issues of concern for stakeholders. When introducing a theme, the goal
is to justify why it requires discussion and push the solutions only
later in the debate. But, of course, there are many ways to formulate an
issue and most of the discussion at first will be to find the
formulation that will allow the issue to get on the Agenda.

At that stage, a good tactical approach would probably be to put all the
issue behind the cover of "identification of emerging issues" (para 72g
of the mandate), right from the first paragraph of the text.

A slightly revised concise formulation could therefore be :

     *The IGF can help strengthen the Trust Framework by calling
     attention to and facilitating discussion of a key emerging issue
     : how to guarantee that new systems of digital privacy and identity
     will center identity around the individuals and foster privacy, and
     enable public participation in their design and application ? *

This would have at least four advantages :

     * it fills a category in the mandate of the IGF that is otherwise
       not present : all other proposed themes so far are very
       well-trodden roads (cybercrime, spam, etc... nothing new really);
       this makes it easier to pitch it for the first IGF : "you need at
       least one emerging issue on the Agenda ..."
     * it can hardly be rejected as an important emerging issue and it
       will be easy to give background information to support that it is
       (of course it is also as you mention a cross-cutting theme),
     * it would naturally lead to the creation of a discussion group, a
       Birds of a Feather Session in Athens and possibly a Working group,
       where the CS Privacy and Security WG can play a lead facilitation
       role (:-)
     * Para 72g is the only one in the mandate of the IGF that explicitly
       mentions "recommendations" and not mere discussions, and this
       paves the way for real action in the future : technical guidelines
       for governments and private sector actors, rules of transparency,
       .general principles for privacy data, etc...

As a matter of fact, the more I think about this subject, the more I
believe this is a very good vehicle for defining the role and
functionning of the IGF and how civil society can influence outcomes.
  In addition, it is a truly multi-stakeholder theme that involves many
actors that did not participate in the WSIS and the Internet Governance
debate. A bit of fresh air and outreach would be good.

Keep pushing. I like it. It will take time. But it will work. My gut
feelings are often right.



P.S. I am not subscribed to the group's list, so I may bounce. Please
forward if you think it's useful. By the way, now I know it's time to
subscribe :-)

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