There are a number of challenges involved in developing a national data strategy, including diverse competing interests, which make public consultations a necessary part of the process. The public consultation process used in the development of Brazil’s Marco Civil da Internet legislation (Internet Bill of Rights) could be used as a model for governments looking to adopt a data strategy. Interviews with academics, policy makers, industry officials and civil society activists in Brazil involved in developing Marco Civil suggest that it enjoys a high degree of legitimacy, attributed, in part, to the open and transparent consultation process. Data-strategy consultations should be undertaken within a human-rights framework, involve transparent, two-stage consultations, designed by nonpartisan and impartial policy experts, and include a decisive role for legislators.

  • Natasha Tusikov is an assistant professor of criminology at York University. She is the author of Chokepoints: Global Private Regulation on the Internet (University of California Press, 2016). Her current research focuses on internet and data governance, in particular in regard to smart cities and the Internet of Things.

  • Blayne Haggart is a CIGI senior fellow and associate professor of political science at Brock University in St. Catharines, Canada.