Deep Dive consultation on the Global Digital Commons for the Global Digital Compact

June 2023

Viraj Desai

On 14 June 2023, advocacy associate Viraj Desai shared a few comments on governance of digital commons at the deep dive consultation for the Global Digital Compact, on behalf of IT for Change.

The consultation was based on the following questions:

  1. What could a “global digital commons” approach entail – in terms of possible principles, values, and ideas?
  2. What are the main challenges with regards to digital public infrastructure? How can the GDC contribute to the safety and inclusivity of digital public infrastructure and mitigate potential harm?
  3. How can the Global Digital Compact contribute to strengthening the global digital public goods (DPG) ecosystem and increase local adoption of DPGs?
IT for Change’s position on the governance of the global internet and digital public goods, including data commons, is that any guidelines should be aligned with universally recognized human rights and the vision of Agenda 2030. To this end, they propose the following set of actions to be taken up by the Global Digital Compact at the earliest:

  1. Take immediate action to reclaim the internet as global knowledge and communication commons through provisions for states to provide key digital services to citizens
  2. Build a new framework which maximizes the public value of data, aggregating it as knowledge commons, while containing the risk of individual and collective harm.
  3. Establish strong guard rails to guard against elite capture of data value and conflict of interest issues stemming from the participation of multinational corporations as it relates to the provisioning of DPGs.

To learn more about the intervention, read it in full.

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