YOUthDIG: Youth Messages 2021
- 25. July 2021
- Posted by: Ingrida Jotkaite
- Category: News
The Youth Dialogue on Internet Governance (YOUthDIG) is a yearly pre-event to the European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG) to foster active youth participation. Young people (ages 18-30) from the pan-European region with a strong interest in Internet governance, digital policy and cooperation were invited to participate. Participants discussed and finalised Youth Messages 2021.
Digital Technologies within Government bodies
- Governments should ensure that analogue access to digitalised government services remains to keep the services accessible to people without digital access and digital skills.
- Digital applications to access government services should be created by an in-house IT team in order to limit the involvement of private companies as much as possible. When governments create these digital services by themselves, they will also be held accountable for the digital services and the innovation of these services.
- The principle of inclusion by design should be the conducting wire within government innovation and digitalisation of government services. Digital access to government services should be clear and easy to use, in an understandable language and available on various devices.
- Governments should be transparent regarding the use of AI within their government services and why they use AI to ensure checks and balances from the general public targeted by the use of these technologies.
- Human involvement should be put in place In the creation and application of AI systems in the government decision-making that has a significant impact on the life of its citizens.
- Governments should not experiment with the use of AI on the general public when outcomes can impact fundamental human rights. Experimentation should take place only in a controlled environment.
- Raw data is the “new oil”. In this regard, we encourage platforms to provide access on a fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory basis to resources and raw data to positively impact competition as it’s more accessible to smaller start-ups and encourages research.
- Technical norms need to be created in order to allow interoperability and portability of data, information and applications of platforms. The creation of these technical norms needs to take place in a multi-stakeholder manner, where the interests of platforms, governments, users, technological companies and researchers are taken into account.
- Transparency improves the intelligibility and understandability of how platforms conduct their businesses. Platforms should be encouraged to be more transparent, where transparency needs to be defined in a granular manner, keeping in mind the audience and the subject matter that the information is provided.
- Examples of subject matters that require increased transparency concern the data processing practices, business models and the targeting of users on these platforms. The information needs to be defined in such a manner that it is understandable for the audience that the information is aimed towards.
- When encouraging increased transparency, the trade secrets and intellectual property rights of these platforms should remain respected, but it shouldn’t prevent taking into consideration the interest of users to be informed. A balancing act has to take place between the interests of the platforms and the interests of the users to be informed accordingly. This balancing act has to be proportionate and reasonable.
Digital Self-Determination & Digital Literacy
- Taking into consideration the decrease in individual and collective agency under the light of mass digitalisation, digital self-determination is of utmost importance. We feel the necessity to protect the very creation of our identities towards manipulations through the digital sphere, and by this means, we advocate for healthy preservation of human rights, democratic institutions and values among society.
- There is no place for actors that would introduce biased or discriminatory views towards other countries, and we should avoid the dominance of certain countries over others because we must protect the openness of the internet, which is vital for self-determination. The right to digital self-determination of individuals shouldn’t be violated on behalf of both national security interests or eagerness of profits throughout the private sector.
- Private and public bodies should make use of tools such as algorithmic audits, specific impact assessment procedures in order to empower digital self-determination. e.g. Children rights impact assessments, human rights impact assessments, external algorithmic audits. Transparent, non-discriminatory and open procedures should be applied in order to build healthy digital environments, and they should support and underpin the development of individuals’ right to self-determination and the creation of identity, helping the preservation of human rights, agency and dignity. The community rules of social media and online platforms should respect the human rights of marginalised groups.
- Platforms should be Available and accessible to everyone, respecting the privacy of their users and ensuring anonymity, allowing people to hide PII (personally identifiable information). When using third-party apps, it should be clear with the public about that, and clear means for giving consent should be provided, especially when it comes to children and ensuring their safety and protection from online violence and abuse.
- Digital literacy is a tool that can provide a confident approach for digital self-determination. We must implement ways to give suitable means to people in order to have access to digital literacy.
- Responsible stakeholders should make it easier for everyone to access and benefit from it while deploying appropriate regulations. The digital environment should support the creation of a digitally comfortable generation who shall proactively engage in the digital economy.
- Academia and the educational system should implement media and information literacy, fostering critical thinking. Creating a more holistic vision of information and freedom of expression in Europe while also contextualising locally what’s the point of information and linking it to the rights to freedom of expression. They should seek to help develop digital literacy programs that can be used both inside and outside schools, including different age groups and professionals. Including programmes for members of other communities to act as peer educators and help spread digital literacy.
- Governments should not be involved in the process of spreading disinformation or benefit from it. They should instead take concrete steps to prevent the distribution of disinformation whilst avoiding curbing freedom of speech.
- The media should help create tools and guidelines to understand the value of information and how to recognise trustworthy information. Furthermore, media should be held accountable when they are creating and spreading disinformation. This should be established by taking monitoring action. Furthermore, media should make sources of information visible when it’s already public unless it puts people at risk (e.g. whistleblowers, witnesses, sources for investigative journalism, etc.).
- The private sector should publish and make transparent the algorithms and processes used to tackle disinformation, eventually downgrading content deemed as disinformation whilst respecting freedom of speech. Further, they should ensure transparent regulations on machine learning that identifies disinformation.
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