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Debate #7: Cyber Security – A Blind Spot for Civil Society Actors on the Internet?

Free Registration: Cyber Security – A Blind Spot for Civil Society Actors on the Internet?


  • Online
  • 7th October 2021
    4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

07 October | 16:00-17:00  Event Times in Central European Time (CET) 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.

The Centre’s 7th Digital Debate will discuss 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 discussion goes beyond a single incident and tries to establish what needs to be done beyond good intentions, progressive mandates, and grassroots involvement in securing the well-being of individuals 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?