January 5, 2021

8 August 2018: Over 100 groups call on G20 leaders to place human rights at the centre of our digital future

In advance of their meeting in Argentina, civil society organizations from around the world are calling on the leaders of G20 countries to commit to building a digital ecosystem that centres human rights.

Let us bring people to the centre of the digital future

G20 countries have both the opportunity and the responsibility to lead efforts to reinstate trust in the digital age. G20 members can inspire hope and embrace the goal that no country, no community, and no individual will be left behind and that their rights will be respected. G20 countries can set a digital agenda that places people at the centre.

The Internet is estimated to contribute nearly $7 trillion USD every year to the G20 economies. By 2020, it is estimated that more than 1 billion users will be added in the G20 countries alone and there will be an estimated 30-50 billion additional connected devices across the world.

Today, G20 economies are digital, interconnected, and interdependent, however, coordinated policy commitments have not kept the pace with this reality.

For the digital society to be open, safe, and empowering for everyone, policies for the digital age must be trusted and trustworthy – putting the interests of people and their rights first. Governments should intensify efforts to assure that the Internet is not fragmented and that people and their rights are at its centre.

As the G20 Host, Argentine President Mauricio Macri has promised to “address the global challenges of the 21st century …(and) to put the needs of people first.” We urge all G20 countries to work collaboratively with leaders from all stakeholder groups to adopt commitments that live up to not just the promise, but also their responsibility to ensure the evolving digital society supports a healthy web ecosystem and puts people first, including:

Meaningful access: We urge G20 members to invest significantly in expanding affordable Internet access for everyone -including through community networks- to boost economies and digital literacy programmes, thus empowering all individuals to reap the benefits of the digital age.

Privacy and data protection rights: We urge the G20 members to adopt, apply and enforce a comprehensive approach to privacy that protects all users’ privacy and personal data, whether citizens or not. People must be given more control and agency over their data.

Freedom of expression: We urge G20 members to promote freedom of expression online by adopting positions and policies that are consistent with maintaining an open internet for everyone.

Cybersecurity: We urge the G20 members to develop cybersecurity approaches in close collaboration with all stakeholders that protect human rights and values, and preserve the Internet as a global public resource. Promoting strong encryption is essential to both these aims.

Increased competition: We urge G20 members to ensure that competition in the digital economy is sustainable, that the market encourages new entrants and the interoperability of new services, and that consumers are protected from unfair practices.

Citizens and consumers have a right to be placed at the centre of decisions around the digital society.

Accelerate Her
Access Now
Afchix: Women in Technology
Algorithm Watch
Amnesty International
Association for Progressive Communications
Alliance for Affordable Internet
Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication
Center for Media Research – Nepal
Centro Latinamericano de Investigaciones Sobre Internet
Consumer International
Datos Protegidos
Digital Empowerment Foundation
Digital Grassroots
Digital Opportunity Trust
eco: association of the internet industry
Elektronisk Forpost Norge
Embajadores de Internet
Fourth Estate
Free Press Unlimited
Fundación Vía Libre
Global Digital Week
Faro Digital
Global Freedom of Expression Programme at Columbia University
Global Innovation Gathering
Global Partners Digital
ICT Watch!
IEEE Standards Association
Instituto Beta
Internet Sans Frontières
Internet Society
Internet Society – Chapitre Haiti
Internet Society – Philippines Chapter
Internet Society – Women SIG
Internet Yetu
Kirat Communications
Open Knowledge International
Open Knowledge Foundation
Paradigm Initiative
Asociación Protección Consumidores del Mercado Común del Sur
Public Knowledge
Ray News
R3D: Red en Defensa de los Derechos Digitales
Science Camp
social digital innovation
Soko Tech
Suma Veritas
Trabajo Educacion Ambiente
Turkey Blocks
Unwanted Witness
Usarios Digitales
Weiba Fundación
Wikimedia Foundation
Women of Uganda Network
World Wide Web Foundation
YMCA of the Gambia
Youth Observatory
Asociación por los Derechos Civiles (ADC)
7amleh – Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media
Adil Soz – International Foundation for Protection of Freedom of Speech
Afghanistan Journalists Center (AFJC)
Africa Freedom of Information Centre (AFIC)
Albanian Media Institute
Asociación Mundial de Radios Comunitarias América Latina y el Caribe (AMARC ALC)
Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE)
Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR)
Cartoonists Rights Network International (CRNI)
Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR)
Derechos Digitales
Freedom Forum
Fundación Karisma
Globe International Center
Index on Censorship
Instituto de Prensa y Libertad de Expresión – IPLEX
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)
Latin American Observatory of Regulation, Media and Convergence – OBSERVACOM
Mediacentar Sarajevo
Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance
Media Watch
Observatorio Latinoamericano para la Libertad de Expresión – OLA
PEN Canada
Privacy International
Social Media Exchange (SMEX)
South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO)
Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM)