A KICTANet Thought Leadership Series.
Date: 28 June 2022.
Venue: Sarova Panafric Hotel.

Introduction

KICTANet and Meta will host an interactive thought leadership roundtable for stakeholders in Kenya to highlight emerging concerns arising from the use of Meta’s Platforms in Kenya. This event is a follow-up meeting to a successful event held on 29th March 2022 with civil society at Sankara Hotel.

Background

Meta manages data of more than 3 billion users worldwide spanning different age gaps, races, political inclinations, nationalities, genders and religious persuasions. It also processes approximately 1 million gigabytes of data every single day through its platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, making the company one of the largest data collectors and processors globally.

There has been widespread concern over how Meta collects and processes personal data and whether the company has sufficient safeguards to guard against data breaches and violations of the right to privacy. Indeed, the colossal fines against the company over privacy violations in Europe, have led to unease, especially in Africa where data protection is either non-existent or new. In Kenya, concerns over the data breaches such as the Cambridge Analytica Scandal and the increased cases of psychological profiling, surveillance, and targeted advertising remain.

Similarly, there is limited understanding of the company’s community standards or guidelines applied across its products and services. Civil society actors have raised concerns about the increasing cases of harmful content such as hate speech, online violence, misinformation, and disinformation on the platforms; the inaction of the platforms to address harmful content; the gaps in the application of community standards; enforcement of community standards; ineffectiveness of content moderation practices; and the limited transparency and accountability on content moderation. Indeed, the increase of harmful content presents risks to Kenya’s upcoming general election scheduled for August 2022. Collectively viewed, these challenges affect the realisation of fundamental rights and freedoms such as freedom of expression, assembly, association, and the right to privacy.

One of the key recommendations from the convening held in March was for regular engagement of key stakeholders with Meta and other social media platforms. Such engagements could provide a useful platform for dialogue and feedback and better coordination between Meta and local digital rights activists, civil society, and opinion shapers. It also provides a unique opportunity to have a shared understanding of the challenges faced on Meta platforms and to develop strategic recommendations for action.

Objectives of the Roundtable Series

The objective of the roundtable series is to provide platforms for dialogue and engagement on the concerns and challenges arising from the use of Meta’s platforms in Kenya and to identify priority actions, potential solutions, and best practices moving forward.

Expected Outcomes

  • Enhanced understanding and engagement on the concerns and challenges arising from the use of
  • Meta’s platforms in Kenya; and, Identified priority actions, potential solutions, and best practices.

Format of the Events

The events shall be three workshops in three thematic half-day sessions with stakeholders. It is proposed that the first event takes place during the KIGF Week scheduled for June 27-30, 2022. KICTANet and Meta shall agree on the time frames for the other two events.

Participants

Each meeting will aim to bring together at least 40 multistakeholders, including business, academia, technical community, digital rights activists, representatives of CSOs working on digital rights, human rights defenders, and other opinion-shapers who influence conversations both online and offline, to enhance partnerships, sharing of knowledge and emerging best practice.

About KICTANet

KICTANet is a multistakeholder platform for people and institutions interested in ICT policy. The network acts as a think tank that catalyses policy reforms in the ICT sector, and it is guided by four pillars: policy advocacy, stakeholder engagement, capacity building, and research. KICTAnet’s guiding philosophy encourages synergies for ICT policy-related activities and initiatives. As such, the network provides mechanisms and a framework for continuing cooperation and collaboration in ICT matters among industry, technical community, academia, media, development partners, and Government.

Draft Agenda

TimeAgendaModerator
08:00 – 08:30Arrival and RegistrationKICTANet Team
08:30 – 08:45Opening and Welcome Remarks
Grace Githaiga, KICTANet
Mercy Ndegwa, Meta Platforms Inc
KICTANet Team
08:45 – 9:00Agenda Setting and ObjectivesKICTANet / Meta Team
09:00 – 10:00Meta Privacy 101
An overview of how we approach privacy at Meta

 – Ololade Shyllon, Meta Platforms Inc

Moderator: Victor Kapiyo
10:00 – 11:00Privacy and Elections
Examining  tools and policies to protect privacy in elections
              Q & A
Moderator: Victor Kapiyo
11:00 – 11:20Tea Break
11:20 – 12:30Panel Discussion: Concerns and Challenges to Online Privacy in Kenya –  

Berhan Taye, Internews
Catherine Muya, ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa 
Francis Monyango, Strathmore CIPIT
Mugambi Laibuta, Advocate of the High Court
Moderator: Bridget Andere, Access Now
12:30 – 12:45Recommendations and Next Steps KICTANet / Meta Team
12:45 – 13:00Wrap Up and Closing Session
13:15 – 14:00Lunch Break