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Welcome to the Official Schedule for RightsCon Toronto 2018. This year’s program, built by our global community, is our most ambitious one yet. Within the program, you will find 18 thematic tracks to help you navigate our 450+ sessions

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Last updated: Version 2.3 (Updated May 15, 2018).

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Friday, May 18 • 14:30 - 15:45
Bay Area tech companies and governments: Discovering the art of conversation.

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The Internet industry in the Bay Area is of vital importance for countries worldwide. The Bay Area tech sector provides services for, and collects data of, citizens worldwide. They play a key role, not only in the governance of data, but also in the implementation of voluntary data standards. Some of them provide platforms for communication and democratic dialogue and are seen as key partners in the efforts to curb fake news or fight extremist propaganda online. The significant impact of Internet companies on society is not matched by the existence of clear frameworks for dialogue with other stakeholders. On one hand, the headquarters of Internet companies in the Bay Area have an important role when it comes to the definition of corporate positions on policy and commercial issues. On the other hand, the Bay Area is remote from international policy-making hubs that attract a large number of governmental and non-governmental actors, such as New York and Geneva. There is, therefore, a need to create opportunities for dialogue that could facilitate mutual understanding between the various stakeholders. Examples include the mismatch between the policy priorities of European regulators and the expectations of US Internet companies over issues such as hate speech regulation or data protection (in particular, the General Data Protection Regulation), and over the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders. This roundtable will discuss responsible governance and identify ways to enhance communication, collaboration, and accountability among Internet companies in the Bay Area, governments, and other stakeholders. This discussion is very timely, as one of the key trends for 2018 ‒ as predicted by The Economist, for example ‒ is that governments will be under increasing pressure to take up more regulatory responsibilities and contribute to the public good. The session will tackle questions such as: - What should a constructive dialogue between countries and Bay Area Internet companies look like to bring win-win scenarios? - How do the consulates located in the Bay Area and the Internet industry cooperate in shaping future digital policies? - Can countries function as mediators bringing together stakeholders, promoting transparency and setting the framework for code of conduct by the Internet companies? - How do the Bay Area Internet companies take into account the sizeable cross-border impact on societies and the public interest? - Can self-regulation prevent over-regulation by governments? - How is the Bay Area context further complicated by the different notions on issues such as privacy and freedom in the USA and in Europe? - Which are the obstacles and opportunities for dialogue with Internet companies in the Bay Area? In our discussion, we will identify existing formal and informal mechanisms for dialogue and the themes covered in the interaction between the Internet industry and governments. Good governance practices that enhance transparency and accountability will be identified, and the possibility to apply them in the interaction with other actors discussed. The roundtable will assess if and how dialogue in the Bay Area could help to introduce early (or ‘by design’) technical and policy considerations that could help to uphold human rights and fundamental freedoms and strengthen democracy. The roundtable builds on DiploFoundation’s ongoing research to map the range of models that countries are adopting in order to interact with companies in the Bay Area. See more at www.diplomacy.edu/bayarea


Friday May 18, 2018 14:30 - 15:45 EDT