This is a joint post from Craig Fagan, Policy Director, Web Foundation, Cathleen Berger, Global Engagement Lead, Mozilla & Constance Bommelaer de Leusse, Senior Director, Global Internet Policy, Internet Society.
The G20 member states account for 85 percent of the global economy and are home to half of the world’s internet users. From artificial intelligence to personal data protections, our physical world is being shaped by our digital world. As current president of the G20, Argentina has put a range of digital challenges on the table. But to tackle these, we need credible commitments and a long-term roadmap.
As three leading organisations from the internet community, we welcome that Argentina continued the G20 digital work begun by Germany in 2017. Last year, Germany and the other G20 members outlined their aspirations for the development of our digital societies. And the Argentine presidency has identified five priority areas — digital inclusion, future job skills, digital government, SMEs and entrepreneurship, and Industry 4.0 — all dependent on a strong digital economy and society. Now is the year to turn these aspirations into actions.
We call on Argentina to build on this consensus with a dedicated G20 digital agenda. This roadmap must include milestones to the next G20 presidency, to be held by Japan. Priority commitments should include:
- Boost internet access, by providing meaningful access, continuing and going to scale with initiatives like eSkills4girls, and scaling investments in private and community based digital networks and infrastructure;
- Increase security, by ensuring a collaborative, inclusive and transparent approach to tackle hard issues, such as promoting strong encryption, sound vulnerability management processes, as well as privacy-protecting and secure designs for emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT).
Thoughtful and proactive digital policies are needed to reap social and economic benefits for all, the G20 and beyond. A G20 digital agenda can help us to address the challenges facing the health of the internet and future of the web and establish trust in the development of our digital lives.
The new challenges we face are complicated, but can be tackled through collaboration among all stakeholders to find the right solutions. Argentina can lead this effort through the G20. It must create a convening space, invite participation and ensure transparency and trust — from sharing documents to providing opportunities for inputs from across the spectrum.
The G20 member states are in a position to set the parameters for a global digital agenda that puts the individual first and makes the most of technology for society. We hope they will live up to this responsibility.