Shaping a digital future for all: Our voice, our data, our privacy

Join the debate…

The internet offers great opportunities for freedom of expression, participation and transparency. For human rights defenders worldwide it is a lifeline for sharing information and making their voices heard. At the same time, online surveillance, censorship, expressions of hate and data abuse have risen dramatically. In many developing countries, the effects are particularly chilling. The number of internet shutdowns during election campaigns and political protests has increased significantly. Digital surveillance, often in the name of national security, has become a constant threat for many reporters and activists. While the Cambridge Analytica scandal has drawn attention to the massive misuse of personal data in Europe and the United States, the impact of data harvesting in low-income countries lacking data protection laws and privacy safeguards is often ignored. 

The conference brings together human rights defenders, development experts, policy-makers and tech managers from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Kenya, Tunisia, Germany and the United States to discuss promising approaches and challenges for inclusive digital societies: How can the right to freedom of expression and the right to privacy be protected in view of civil society’s increasingly restricted space available for action? What human rights risks do  big data analytics and machine-based decision-making pose for citizens in the Global South? How can development cooperation capitalise on the benefits, such as better access to information, health, and education, and address the challenges of algorithms working as biased black boxes?


GIZ representation Berlin
Reichpietschufer 20
10785 Berlin

Thursday, June 14. 2018, 4.00 p.m. - 8.00 p.m..

  4.00 p.m. Greetings   Wolf-Michael Dio, Head of Department East Asia
  4.10 p.m. Keynotes
The global state of human rights online: Trends, challenges, success stories

David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression (tbc)
Helani Galpaya, LIRNEasia, Sri Lanka

Moderator: Mike Falke, GIZ


5.10 p.m.

Panel discussion
Trolls, takedowns and the spiral of silence: Freedom of expression in the social media

Sabine Frank, Google Germany
Lina Ben Mhenni, Blogger, Tunisia
Lena Rohrbach, Amnesty International

Moderator: Isabel Rodde, GIZ

  6.00 p.m. Coffee break


6.20 p.m.

Privacy and data protection:  Putting user rights first


Ulf Buermeyer, Gesellschaft für Freiheitsrechte
Nighat Dad, Digital Rights Foundation Pakistan
Constanze Kurz, netzpolitik.org/  
Semjon Rens, Facebook Germany

Moderator: Geraldine de Bastion, Konnektiv

  7.10 p.m. Interactive presentation
Taking Control of Your Digital Life: The 8-Day Data Detox Kit  
  Caroline Jane Kent, 
Tactical Tech Collective
  7.25 p.m. Panel discussion
Artificial intelligence for the greater good:
Strategies for opening the black box of algorithmic decision-making

Lorena Jaume-Palasi, Algorithm Watch 
Miguel Luengo-Oroz, UN Global Pulse 
Nanjira Sambuli, Web Foundation, Kenya

Moderator: Christian Djeffal, Alexander-von-Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society

  8.10 p.m. Closing Words   Annette Seidel, Head of Department “Human rights, gender equality, inclusion of persons with disabilities”, BMZ (tbc)  
  8.15 p.m. Get-Together