28.09.2021

Data management: in the search of compromise

Data management: in the search of compromise

At a press conference, Center for Global IT-Cooperation presented the research “Improving Data Management Models. Stimulating the exchange of data between the public sector and key market participants”, carried out in partnership with the Internet Research Institute and the Russian Association for Electronic Communications.

The press conference was attended by Deputy Minister of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media of Russia Oleg Kachanov, Director General of the Institute for Internet Research Karen Kazaryan, Director of the Center for Global IT-Cooperation Vadim Glushchenko, Scientific Director of the MGIMO Artificial Intelligence Master's program Anna Abramova, Chairman of the Board of Directors export electronic trading platform GlobalRusTrade.com Anna Nesterova.

In his opening remarks, Oleg Kachanov focused on the most unprotected subject of working with data – an ordinary user. “Despite the requirements of digitalization, acceleration of processes, the need to develop AI for the common good, we need to be very sensitive and responsible to the issues of protecting citizens, since it is the citizen who is the most vulnerable in the state-business-citizen trio. Only the state can protect the citizens, including the consequences of the collection of user data by IT giants for their commercial purposes. However, it is also impossible to "tighten the screws", because data is the fuel for the development of artificial intelligence. As part of the digital economy programmes the datasets are being formed and experimental legal regimes are being introduced to try various options for working with data, taking into account the availability of risk mitigation tools and the possibility of stopping experiments, and so on, meaning that the search for compromise solutions continues,” deputy minister described the steps of the state to protect users.

However, attitudes towards citizens' interests in data governance vary across countries. Presenting the results of the study, Vadim Glushchenko noted that three main approaches prevail in the world, which can be conditionally called European (based on human rights), Chinese (where the interests of the state, ensuring national security and economic independence are put in the first place) and American (where business interests are at the forefront). The difference in approaches is due to the established legal traditions and functions of the state in a particular country, which forms different vectors of development of the legal field. “In Russia, there has long been a need to create a comprehensive national data strategy, which will reflect the model and specificity of Russian approaches to data management. It is obvious that all participants in the data management process will benefit from the presence of such a document: business, government, scientific community and users themselves,”- the director of the Center for Global IT-Cooperation announced the main conclusion of the study.

On the business side, Anna Nesterova fully supported the findings of the study and noted that the commercial sector needs clear “rules of the game” in the field of data management and equal working conditions in the Russian market for domestic and foreign companies. “For business, data is an opportunity on its basis to form an infrastructure, create promising services. At the same time, we understand that we need to work with data responsibly, maintaining a balance between commercial interests and the protection of users' personal data,” she added. 

Karen Kazaryan, in turn, noted that it is important to formulate rules for access to state data for commercial companies and vice versa, for the state - to business data. “The state's access to the data of commercial companies should be based on four pillars: proportionality in the use of data, that is, the public justification of requests; definition of restrictions, that is, why, where and how long the data will be used; transparency of mechanisms so that users do not develop mistrust; and fair, legal and ethical use of data,” concluded the director of the Institute for Internet Research.

Voicing the opinion of the academic community, Anna Abramova noted that artificial intelligence systems are the main beneficiary of the development of a data circulation regulation system. She drew attention to the fact that the issues of access to data for training artificial intelligence systems are considered at the national and supranational levels. Moreover, there are no unequivocal answers to these questions either in Russia or abroad. “In this regard, the study raises the main issues in the field of data management at the right time. Especially considering that for us, as well as for many other countries, the problem of staff shortage in the field of data science and artificial intelligence is urgent, in the field where an interdisciplinary approach to teaching is very important".

At the end of the discussion, the participants agreed that in order to achieve a balance of interests of the state, business and users in data management issues, it is necessary to consolidate the efforts of all interested players, take into account advanced foreign practices and approaches and translate them into an appropriate national strategy.