YOUthDIG 2020 messages

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About YOUthDIG 2020 | Consolidated programme 2020 overview


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Youth Messages

1. Data protection and children’s safety

Mainstreaming gender and contrasting racial discrimination

Data collection in the context of GDPR should also account for possible discriminatory practices. Issues affecting minorities (e.g., LGBTQ+) and victims of violence need to be addressed in data protection regulation. Representatives of these groups and communities should be included in the policy making process so that they can raise context-specific issues.

Spreading personal information without consent

When personal information is shared without the person’s consent and/or endangering him/her, states should adopt legislation to remove such information from public spaces and punish perpetrators in accordance with international obligations under the UN, CoE, and EU human rights framework.

Dark patterns

Companies should not use dark patterns, nudge and deceive users into accepting data collection and processing without informed consent. Companies should follow ethical design principles while regulators should recognize dark patterns as a violation of GDPR and fine violators.

Children’s protection

Users, in their parental role, should encourage transparency in their children’s activities by placing computers in family spaces. They should help children learn about the risk of sharing information online and build trust with their children to report cases of bullying. Governments and child protection services should be trained to address the issue of bullying and should assist with training parents and school teachers.

2. Internet Access and inclusion

Sound internet infrastructure is crucial. We call on Governments, independent regulatory agencies in cooperation with the private sector to establish universal connectivity and legal/regulatory frameworks which protect user access and safe use of the available internet tools.

Digital Divide: We call on local governments, technical professionals and civil society actors to leverage community networks as a de-centralised solution to provide internet access in rural/remote areas. We advocate for public/private partnerships to set-up internet booths/tele-centres, complemented by technical help, government monitoring and suitable infrastructure. Further, government agencies partnering with the academia can conduct cross-cutting public research and data collection about population needs. This informs decision makers to enable evidence-based policies that target the most vulnerable population groups.

Digital Literacy & Fake News: Adoption of strategic programs aimed to improve digital literacy which includes building digital curriculum and focusing on skill-building and knowledge at a student-level at schools.

Adopt guidelines as well as regulations on how to detect fake news through collaborative discussion between civil society and government based on guidelines developed by Council of Europe. We call on governments to dedicate a week on internet governance awareness as a part of the strategic program which will bring the topic to the centre of attention and can trigger concrete actions directed by civil organizations.

A system for reporting data breach, fake news and hate speech issues can be designed by the governmental agency engaged in data security which is accessible to the public in order to actively and quickly react to the case.

3. Blockchain

  • There are many successful applications of blockchain in commerce and a lot of projects try to move beyond. We don't want to use blockchain for every possible process but rather have a pool of use-cases where it brings the biggest business value (transparency, immutability, accountability etc).
  • Internet/network technology practitioners should conduct more research and aggregate use-cases to reveal where the best added value lies in the application of blockchain and distributed ledgers to facilitate the processes and transactions online.
  • A few of the use-cases we think are very important are democratic processes (online voting), identity verification, public procurements and other processes where security and transparency are still problematic.
  • There is a rising number of young and competent internet users exposed to the advanced technology ready to take the next step to the adoption of new technology applications. Awareness by the education of this technology must be created such that (youth) communities will advocate it for proper use.

4. Greening the Internet

It would be essential to create a dialogue among private companies operating in the technology and energy sector and EU institutions, with the final aim of drafting policies, measures and incentives that would be implemented.

This process and the transition to a green internet should be transparent, accountable, based on scientific research and should take in consideration all the stakeholders’ visions.