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

Bertrand de La Chapelle bdelachapelle at gmail.com
Fri Mar 31 09:38:58 BST 2006

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

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 :-)

On 3/31/06, Ralf Bendrath <bendrath at zedat.fu-berlin.de> wrote:
> Dear all,
> today, the deadline ends for theme proposals for the Internet Governance
> Forum. This list has not been too active recently in collaboratively
> working on text. I myself was caught up in work, too (I am involved in a
> conference we have at my institute this weekend). I finally worked a bit
> on it this night. Two things:
> *1. Theme proposal for "People-Centric Digital Identity and Privacy"*
> As nobody on this list did find time to develop a theme proposal based on
> our "Privacy Forum" idea from February, I think it is best to support a
> good idea that is already out there. Therefore, I have taken Garth
> Graham's proposal on user-centric identity (which met no objections here)
> and re-worked it a bit, following a suggestion by Bertrand de La Chapelle,
> into a theme on "People-Centred Digital Identity and Privacy". The draft
> is attached.
> Due to lack of time, this was not coordinated with Garth or Bertrand. But
> I guess the chances of getting this theme onto the agenda are even higher
> if the general idea is supported by different proposals and from different
> directions. And, by the way, if it makes it onto the IGF agenda, we still
> have every chance to build this into a global Privacy Forum. ;-)
> I will be offline today from 15:00 CEST on because of our conference. If I
> do not hear any objections to this proposal, I will submit it in the name
> of this group. If people object, I will still submit it as my own
> proposal, and personal endorsements are of course welcome for that.
> *2. Theme Proposal "Privacy of e-Voting"*
> I am not sure if we have enough agreement for Ginger's proposal on the
> privacy of e-voting for supporting it as a group. I myself am not
> convinced anymore that even the references in the latest version are
> enough to make clear it really is an Internet Governance issue. But the
> main problem seems to be that it will not have a realistic chance of
> getting into the IGF if we already face scepticism in this group and from
> other CS people. Therefore, I would prefer not to submit it in the name of
> this group.
> Ginger, you of course are free to submit it yourself, and I hope for your
> understanding. If people want to endorse it, they should let Ginger know.
> Best, Ralf
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://mailman-new.greennet.org.uk/pipermail/privsec/attachments/20060331/8d15601c/attachment.html

More information about the Privsec mailing list