RightsCon 2021 is an online conference, being hosted by Access Now, which plans to bring together civil society organisations, business leaders, human rights advocates, government representatives, technologists, and journalists from around the world to discuss pressing issues at the intersection of human rights and technology. The event will take place from June 7 to June 11, 2021.
What is RightsCon?
In 2011, Access Now hosted the first-ever RightsCon (then the Silicon Valley Human Rights Conference). The intention was to create something different: a civil society-led space where all stakeholders – from tech companies to government representatives to human rights defenders – could come together to build a rights-respecting digital future. Since then, RightsCon has rotated between five continents and grown, both in size and in scope to meet the evolving needs of a movement. In 2021, RightsCon will host its 10th anniversary summit online from Monday, June 7 to Friday, June 11. (Source: https://www.rightscon.org/about-and-contact/)
IFF at RightsCon 2021!
This year, IFF will be hosting and/or participating in sessions on a wide variety of topics such as the regulation of online Child Sexual Abuse Material, the efficiency of COVID-19 related applications, the impact of strategic litigation on internet shutdowns, and the harms of facial recognition technology among others. The table below contains a list of the sessions in which IFF staff members will be participating.
|Name of Session||Date & Time of Session||Participating IFF Staff Member|
|Covid-19 Apps: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly||June 8, 2021; 5:30 PM IST||Rohin Garg, Associate Policy Counsel|
|Flight BAN-1984 is ready for take-off: join the global movement to ban facial recognition surveillance! - Co-hosted by EDRi & IFF||June 9, 2021; 6:30 PM IST||Anushka Jain, Associate Counsel (Surveillance & Transparency)|
|A public health approach to the CSAM problem: looking beyond Internet platform regulation||June 9, 2021, 6:30 PM||Rohin Garg, Associate Policy Counsel|
|The impact of strategic litigation on internet shutdowns||June 10, 2021; 4:45 PM IST||Vrinda Bhandari, IFF Of-Counsel|
|Facial Recognition and the Private Sector: strategies to protect civil and consumer rights||June 10, 2021; 6 PM IST||Anushka Jain, Associate Counsel (Surveillance & Transparency)|
|Data protection legislations for law enforcement: Multiregional perspectives for regulating data protection in criminal procedures||June 11, 2021; 6 PM IST||Apar Gupta (Executive Director)|
Brief on our sessions
- Covid-19 Apps: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly - This session will look at the menagerie of COVID-19 related technological interventions that have sprung up. Issues of surveillance, exploitation of health and other data, and the centralisation of disparate databases will be considered.
- Flight BAN-1984 is ready for take-off: Join the global movement to ban facial recognition surveillance - This session will transport participants in a virtual round-the-world tour to Europe, India, Massachusetts, New York, the West Bank and more, to explore the power of a selection of global advocacy and campaign actions against facial recognition and other forms of biometric mass surveillance. Facilitated by the European “Reclaim Your Face” campaign, speakers from the “BanWagon” coalition will showcase successes and lessons learned from their campaigns so far. Simultaneously, participants will be asked to share information about their own campaigns in the chat, with a particular focus on hearing from voices campaigning in LATAM, Africa and Asia regions. This session will be co-hosted by EDRi & IFF.
- A public health approach to the CSAM problem: Looking beyond Internet platform regulation - This session aims to broaden awareness of a public health approach to the prevention of child sexual abuse, to explain how this approach can be used in the fight to eliminate child sexual abuse material (CSAM) without excessive reliance upon censorship or surveillance, and to invite the establishment of new networks of human rights defenders whose advocacy is informed by this approach.
- The impact of strategic litigation on internet shutdowns - This strategy session will focus on how strategic litigation can be used as a tool to combat instances of internet shutdowns across the globe.
- Facial Recognition and the Private Sector: strategies to protect civil and consumer rights - The aim of this session is to devise principles, either legal or ethical, that must be followed by the private sector in its use of facial recognition systems (FRS), which can present challenges to civil and consumer rights, such as the rights to free consent and transparency. We also aim to strategise with consumer and civil-rights protection organisations about initiatives, legal or not, that have been taken against or in the scope of such usage.
- Data protection legislations for law enforcement: Multiregional perspectives for regulating data protection in criminal procedures - This session aims to debate the contrasting regulation approaches on data protection in criminal procedure and public security, with a primary focus on surveillance, automated decisions, and data subjects’ rights.
We look forward to seeing you there!
The RightsCon platform will open for registered participants on June 1, 2021. Once the platform opens, registered participants can log in to the RightsCon platform to explore the full schedule, see speakers, and build a personalised agenda. We are excited to be a part of this amazing line-up and hope to see you there!
- RightsCon 2021 Session List (link)