Past and Current International ActionIn blazing the way for technological acceleration, many NGOs have taken the lead. Among the ranks is the “Usage of Fair Care Labs” by the NDWA National domestic workers alliance. The Conference on Information and Communication Technologies for Development, or ICT4D, celebrated its 10th committee session 2018 in Lusaka, Zambia. During this conference, representatives from NGOs across the world discussed the future for NGO leadership in the technological development field. AnNGO working in this field is NetHope. NetHope’s mission is to create “a consortium of American NGOs that works to join nonprofits with technology innovators worldwide.” While NetHope is one of the more-known non-governmental organizations promoting the expansion of technology, multiple other NGOs have avidly paved the path for a more technological world. According to the World Economic Forum, the digital economy could unleash over $100 trillion by 2025. While these efforts have been largely crippled due to the high impact of COVID-19, their status remains as their work continues on through the pandemic.
The United Nations has also encouraged technological growth. The General Assembly of the United Nations held a conference about “The Impact of Rapid Technological Change on the Sustainable Development Goals and Targets” At the conference, they discussed new ways to continue pursuing technological advancement despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, in April of 2020, the United Nations stated that “digital technologies [are] critical in facing COVID-19 pandemic.” It was noted that approximately 57% of UN member states had been using their official websites to share news to their citizens on the impacts of COVID-19. This is a landmark symbol for the international community, signifying the new steps national governments are taking to develop their web presence. Policy briefings from this committee session stated that “Policymakers should seize the COVID-19 crisis as an opportunity to establish tailor-made digital government tools, strategies and collaborations for the future.” In summary, the United Nations have been viewing the pandemic as an opportunity for countries to take a step in accelerating their digital sphere. They ended the policy report with the following: “Governments should embrace these policy- and technological developments and harvest the digital opportunities that can support the long-term sustainable development of their countries.”
II. Country’s Position
The Republic of Chile is dedicated to protecting the individual rights of our citizens while developing our technological scope. Our technological development legal history started in 1999 when we passed Law No. 19,628. Law No. 19,628 was the first development regulatory policy to pass in Latin America. This legislation defined the boundaries in which public and private databases have the ability to store data. Specifically, it declared that personal data may only be processed when permitted by the law. This gave very few exceptions, making strict boundaries in which companies could store data. Law No. 19,628 stands as a symbol of Chile’s dedication in providing developmental guidelines. Since then, Chile has passed more specific laws; In 2012, our government passed Law 20,575/2012 which redefined what the “purpose principle” for processing personal data is. Additionally, Law 20,584/2012 regulates the rights and duties of individuals in the context of healthcare. In 2010, Chile became a member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries. Through this organization, our country symbolically committed to creating new spheres of technological development while maintaining regulated “data flow,”. Seven years later on 15 March 2017 when the government of Chile presented Bill No. 11144-07 which modified standards. It allowed companies to regulate and process personal data, spearheading a new direction in which technology companies should move towards into the future..
Since the start of COVID-19 in 2020, our country has worked to accelerate the growth of technology while keeping data privacy in place. While many countries across the world have been using “location tracking” or such to bolster the reactionary fight against COVID-19, Chile has not yet done so.However, this has little to do with our government not wanting to use location services but rather the lack of a clear policy. No such policy pertains directly to this topic, so the government does not currently have a guideline on how to approach “location tracking” technological advancements that have developed across the world due to COVID-19.
While Chile has made all these technological development contributions to the international community, our country still has room for improvement. Our legislation covers a vast variety of technology industries, but our laws do not include details pertaining to specific violations. This has hindered compliance from different entities and made it harder for regulators to enforce as they often lack a clear precedent or definition to work with. Moreover, the highest fines amount to $3,500. While high for individuals, this is not enough to punish major companies even if they have not been utilizing their power morally.
III. Proposed Solutions
Chile proposes three major policies: the creation of an international committee, the passing of new policies, and the revamp of educational movements. First, Chile believes there must be a research forum named COTA (Commission on Technology Acceleration), created for the purpose of advising and collaborating with nations on oversight of technology development. This commission would report and advise countries on their technology development, oversee policies, and research growth opportunities. Chile strives to maintain its favorable ranking on corruption (ranking the 24th least corrupt country on the 2016 Corruption Perception Index), and therefore feel the rest of the world should seek ways to promote transparency and anti-corruption policies within their own nation. This committee should address issues of potential corruption and political instability that could be causing irresponsible technology development. The commission would be composed of government representatives, scientific and technological professionals, university professors, and humanitarian reporters, selected by experience. In addition, Chile also pushes for an international forum where these reports would be shared between member states of the United Nations.
To further international action, Chile also proposes a new resolution be passed by the Commission of Science and Technology for Development. This would be similar to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals that the United Nations passed back in 2015; The resolution would outline the basic international standards and how countries must work to technologically develop their nation. While independent member states can choose to add more to the international standards, Chile suggests that the international community act swiftly to create a common goal: responsible and sustainable technology development. Specifically, Chile advocates that CTSD state a specific goal that countries can follow as a guideline.
Chile also believes that there must be new laws within nationals that better define the legal boundaries of technology. For example, two fields where Chile has been lacking legal definitions are in the field of transportation and agriculture. With the rise of COVID-19, many countries have been turning to location tracking to flatten the curve. While Chile has yet to apply this style of addressing the pandemic, we feel more detailed policies should be defined pertaining to this matter. In addition, as one of the leading food producers on the planet especially in cherries and wine, Chile advocates for the application of more regulations, believing that there is a lack in how agricultural data is collected as no statement of law in many nations’ constitution addresses this issue yet, as with most countries in our community. To protect national sovereignty, this idea would be implemented by the individual member states of CSTD instead of having a committee oversee them. Chile hopes that the CTSD will make statements of support in order to motivate national governments to specify their legislation.
However, Chile is most dedicated to utilizing educational solutions. We urge the construction of a research forum where universities would directly communicate research materials regarding this topic to each other. 93% of our population currently hold smartphones, and we suggest researching ways to utilize mobile apps to help facilitate the knowledge we have accumulated. Our nation, as with many others in our region, does not lack the resources to fit our citizens with advanced technology but rather the initiative to educate them on how to use them. For example, within Latin America, we hope to have the University of Chile take the lead and create free educational programs where citizens can learn about newly developed technology and how to approach them. We also urge the opening of seminars at the University of Chile and other flagship universities where people can come together and speak on this issue.
Chile also supports having a Global STEM Competition for Youth centered in Santiago, Chile with large government-funded scholarships. The idea behind this is that the competition should foster hope for technological advancements in places where there lacks hope. Latin America is among the poorest regions in the world with approximately 30% of its population being below the poverty line. Chile hopes that through our efforts, more low-income students will be able to get involved with technology. In addition, for young women waiting to get involved with STEM, we urge the creation of government sponsored scholarships where females wanting to major in STEM from low-income families can receive money to continue their education. While this idea is mostly centered around high-poverty areas such as Latin America, Chile believes that other CTSD member states can start applying this plan internationally. We urge the committee to pass statements supporting this educational plan.
IV. Questions to Consider
(2) In a technological world do people have fundamental rights to certain technologies such as wifi or should technology be considered a luxury?
Chile believes that all of our citizens have a fundamental right to certain technologies. Approximately 72% of citizens have access to a wifi network in our nation, pointing at the availability of basic technology. With such a high number of people in our country who have access to high-tech materials, we believe that people who don’t have access to these technologies will fall behind in all sectors. Even for our citizens in the agricultural field, a rather basic industry, it has become evident that modern farming cannot happen without the usage of technologies. In addition, it has become more evident with the rise of COVID-19 that citizens without access to these certain technologies cannot stand in this global age of connectedness. Chile strongly feels that these basic technologies must be given for all people to utilize.
(3) How can governments help innovation thrive while also protecting individuals’ rights?
Chile firmly believes that in order to have an innovative population while protecting individual rights, the government should set certain regulations to define what “violations” and “breaches” of personal data are. However, we should refrain from taking direct action. Instead, Chile would prefer funding universities, awarding students with scholarships, and creating individual programs to develop our topics. By doing this, we believe that the individual entities will work to develop technology in our country; Competition would spurr between these different entities and we feel this will pave the path for innovation. Additionally, because our laws and policies would clearly set the standards to which companies or other entities could collect personal data, the individual rights of our citizens would be protected and allow a thriving technology development to succeed.
V. Works Cited
“Digital Technologies Critical in Facing COVID-19 Pandemic | UN DESA Department of Economic and Social Affairs.” United Nations, United Nations, 15 Apr. 2020, www.un.org/development/desa/en/news/policy/digital-technologies-critical-in-facing-covid-19-pandemic.html.
Jerving, Sara. “A Strategic Mindset Shift Is Needed by NGOs to Fully Embrace Technology.” Devex, Devex, 15 May 2018, www.devex.com/news/a-strategic-mindset-shift-is-needed-by-ngos-to-fully-embrace-technology-92749.
“Law.” Law in Chile - DLA Piper Global Data Protection Laws of the World, 28 Jan. 2021, www.dlapiperdataprotection.com/index.html?t=law&c=CL.
“The Impact of Rapid Technological Change on the Sustainable Development Goals and Targets - General Assembly of the United Nations.” United Nations, United Nations, 11 June 2020, www.un.org/pga/74/event/the-impact-of-rapid-technological-change-on-the-sustainable-development-goals-and-targets/.
Alvin Heng, Justin Heermann, Chamal Samaranayake, & Lilly Sath. “Technology Trends in Latin America.” Technology Trends in Latin America - Chile, cs.stanford.edu/people/eroberts/cs201/projects/2010-11/TechnologyTrendsLatinAmerica/chile.html.
Coca, Nithin, and Ben Valentine. “Incubators for Change: How NGOs Are Developing Apps and Tech Tools.” MobLab, 12 Sept. 2019, mobilisationlab.org/stories/incubators-for-change-ngo-developing-apps/.
UN SECRETARY-GENERAL’S STRATEGY ON NEW TECHNOLOGIES, Sept. 2020, www.un.org/en/newtechnologies/images/pdf/SGs-Strategy-on-New-Technologies.pdf
“UN Secretary-General's Strategy on New Technologies.” United Nations, United Nations, www.un.org/en/newtechnologies/.
“Biomedical Research Ethics: Updating International Guidelines.” Portada Universidad De Chile, www.uchile.cl/portal/investigacion/centro-interdisciplinario-de-estudios-en-bioetica/documentos/76304/biomedical-research-ethics-updating-international-guidelines.
12, June. “Dispatch from Chile: The Ethics of Health Priority Setting, or Searching for True North Without a Compass.” Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, 12 June 2013, ethics.harvard.edu/blog/dispatch-chile.