Digital Debate 7: Cyber Security – A Blind Spot for Civil Society Actors on the Internet?
The digital transformation encompasses consumer electronics, online shopping and education, eGovernment and Gig work. And as our societies undergo this transformation, so do civil society organisations (CSOs). What started with digitalised back offices, eMail and accounting, has evolved in CSOs maintaining data and databases, using biometrics and bots, and experimenting with artificial intelligence. Some CSOs have entered into alliances with tech companies while others keep their distance, criticising their business models and advocating for change.
Hosted by Barb Iverson, the 7th Digital Debate discussed the issue of cyber security as it affects civil society. In a world where hackers seek to damage or steal data, disrupt digital life by spreading computer viruses and ransomware, and launch denial of service attacks, are CSOs doing enough to secure their operations and safeguard the integrity of the personal data of the people they support?
Recently the issue hit the news headlines when western armed forces, but also ICSOs, left Afghanistan hastily. And the question of personal data, biometric data in particular, of Afghans left behind, was asked. However, our debate went beyond a single incident and tried to establish what needs to be done beyond good intentions, progressive mandates and grassroots participation to ensure the well-being of people and the integrity of civil society structures in the digital space.
The digital rights movement has created very high standards of data protection and data autonomy. However, they cannot be attained without cyber security. This then begs the question of how to reach a maximum degree of security in an environment that is often cash-starved and to a high degree dependent on philanthropy and collaboration with Hi-Tech companies?
So, the question stands: Cyber Security – A Blind Spot for Civil Society Actors on the Internet?
7 October 2021, 16:00 hrs. CEST
Digital Debates: Event Series
Every month, this event series will provide inspiring discussions for the civil society sector based on the constant change that digitalisation brings to our societies. Each debate will be a call to action for CSOs to take a more active role in shaping our digital future.
Barbara Iverson will moderate each debate. She teaches Interpersonal Skills and Intercultural Management at the CODE University of Applied Sciences in Berlin.