PL 03 2019

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Consolidated programme 2019 overview

Title: Emerging technologies and human rights

Proposals assigned to this session: ID 1, 23, 62, 85, 89, 90, 108, 117, 154, 155, 169, 177, 205 – list of all proposals as pdf

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Session teaser

Advanced digital technologies can contribute in a meaningful way to improve quality of life, accelerate economic development and scientific progress. But they can pose also a significant threat to the exercise of human rights and to democratic processes. Come to this session and share your views on how to ensure that emerging technologies’ development is in line with human rights!

Session description

Advanced digital technologies can contribute in a meaningful way to improve quality of life, economic development and scientific progress. But they can pose also significant threat to human rights exercise and to democratic processes.

There is a gradual recognition of the fact that these risks must be identified, mitigated, and remedied, and that a broad debate on the design, development and deployment of advanced digital technologies should be launched.

States’ policies should guarantee human rights protection and contribute to building citizens’ informed trust in advanced digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence systems by ensuring appropriate legal and institutional human rights safeguards, as well as a public scrutiny based on democratic values over the development, deployment and implementation of these technologies.

To this end, what role should state regulation and state institutions play? How can we avoid the risk of overregulation that could restrict freedom of speech or stifle innovation? How can we ensure that that the design, development, and deployment of advanced digital technologies respect human rights?

Is this a matter for binding national regulation? Could the development of self-regulatory procedures, ethical design solutions, transparency and accountability models by the tech community and tech companies constitute an appropriate response to these issues?

This plenary debate will discuss how to enhance transparency, accountability and how to ensure effective supervisory mechanisms and public oversight structures over the use of advanced digital technologies` meeting human rights standards. How to ensure that the most vulnerable groups of society are safe, especially those who are not able to protect themselves like children and people with low or no digital literacy? The respective roles and responsibilities of relevant stakeholders will be also debated.

The development and employment of advanced digital technologies are difficult to regulate and monitor in terms of transparency, explainability, accountability, effectiveness – for a variety of reasons including the need to protect trade secrets, required high level of technical knowledge necessary to understand how systems produce relevant outputs, complex and interrelated chains of inputs leading to creation of an advanced digital technology. Still, recent debates involving tech community, civil society and academia show that solutions to these obstacles are possible. Other sectors meeting similar challenges – such as aviation sector – are subject to effective regulation and supervision, supported by industry efforts to develop high standards of safety and accountability.

These issues need to be addressed urgently. Policy development should include all stakeholders and require open public debate. The session aims contribute to this goal.


An informal, co-moderated debate, initiated by the interventions of key participants, will involve everyone present.

Further reading

Until .

Links to relevant websites, declarations, books, documents. Please note we cannot offer web space, so only links to external resources are possible. Example for an external link: Website of EuroDIG


Please provide name and institution for all people you list here.

Focal Point

  • Małgorzata Pek, Council of Europe

Organising Team (Org Team)

  • Zoey Barthelemy
  • Viveka Bonde, LightNet Foundation
  • Marit Brademann
  • Lucien Castex, Secretary General, Internet Society France / Research Fellow, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle
  • Jutta Croll, Stiftung Digitale Chancen
  • Amali De Silva-Mitchell
  • Fredrik Dieterle, LightNet Foundation
  • Ana Jorge, Faculty of Human Sciences, Universidade Católica Portuguesa
  • Ansgar Koene, Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute, University of Nottingham/ Working group chair for IEEE Standard on Algorithm Bias Considerations
  • Kristina Olausson, ETNO - European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association
  • Adam Peake, ICANN
  • Michael Raeder, Stiftung Digitale Chancen
  • Roel Raterink, Team EU – international affairs, City of Amsterdam.
  • Veronica Ștefan, Digital Citizens Romania, Romanian Digital Think-Tank

Key Participants

  • Lise Fuhr, Director General of ETNO
  • Joe McNamee, independent expert, member of the Council of Europe Committee of experts on human rights dimensions of automated data processing and different forms of artificial intelligence
  • David Reichel, Research Officer, European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights
  • Max Senges, Program Manager for Google Research & Education


  • Jan Kleijssen, Director of the Information Society and Action against Crime Directorate, Council of Europe

Remote Moderator

The Remote Moderator is in charge of facilitating participation via digital channels such as WebEx and social medial (Twitter, facebook). Remote Moderators monitor and moderate the social media channels and the participants via WebEX and forward questions to the session moderator. Please contact the EuroDIG secretariat if you need help to find a Remote Moderator.


  • Clement Perarnaud, Universitat Pompeu Fabra Barcelona, Geneva Internet Platform

The Reporter takes notes during the session and formulates 3 (max. 5) bullet points at the end of each session that:

  • are summarised on a slide and presented to the audience at the end of each session
  • relate to the particular session and to European Internet governance policy
  • are forward looking and propose goals and activities that can be initiated after EuroDIG (recommendations)
  • are in (rough) consensus with the audience

Current discussion, conference calls, schedules and minutes

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Video record

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