Industry Dialogue and GNI meet in Stockholm

By Milka Pietikainen, Chair of the Industry Dialogue (Millicom)

On October 2-3, the Telecommunications Industry Dialogue held its quarterly meeting in Stockholm, hosted by Millicom.  

As the Industry Dialogue is entering the last six months of our current partnership agreement with the Global Network Initiative, we were joined by members of the GNI Board for a full day of discussions on how the collaboration so far has shaped each organization and the way forward in six months’ time.

The quarterly meetings of the Industry Dialogue are also important to take stock on progress made in our different working groups for communication, stakeholder engagement and tools, and for the setting of future priorities.

The tools group has been focusing its work on transparency reporting, benchmarking current best practice and challenges related to consolidation and comparability of data given the diverse legal frameworks our companies operate under. Importantly, we are also discussing with various stakeholders how transparency reports are used.  All of this work will support the member companies in planning their own approach to transparency reporting.

We are moving forward with a project that will describe the legal frameworks related to government access to communications data and content restriction in five of the countries where one or two ID companies operate. We are also planning the Annual Learning Forums taking place on November 6 in Mountain View, California and on December 1 in Geneva – both will have transparency as a focus topic.

Now, for the third time in conjunction with our quarterly meeting, we met with stakeholders. We were pleased to see an excellent turnout from local Swedish government agencies, human rights organizations and investor representatives. Four companies presented their work in implementing the ID Guiding Principles, and most of the discussion evolved around how the industry and its different stakeholders could work better together in our common goal to protect freedom of expression.

I am honored to have been elected Chair of the Industry Dialogue for the next six months, which are very important for the future of the ID.  With our issues in the news on an almost daily basis, the importance of our work will continue to grow.  For Millicom, the Industry Dialogue continues to be an important body to share challenges, learn from each other and work collaboratively with peers and stakeholders around us to improve our management of risks relating to freedom of expression and privacy.

A clear priority for the Industry Dialogue for the next six months is to determine a more permanent future for the organization. Concurrently, we need to continue to engage more telecom companies – particularly from emerging markets – to join our work.

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Lisl Brunner

Lisl Brunner is the Facilitator for the Telecommunications Industry Dialogue. Prior to this role, Lisl spent five years as a staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. She is a fluent Spanish speaker and holds a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a Bachelor’s degree from the College of William & Mary.

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