International organizations are increasingly relying on capacity of private actors to deploy and test emerging technologies. One such context is the deployment of data mining, machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies for border controls, funded by the European Union. What role do international organizations play with respect to governance of data generated by such public-private initiatives?
International organizations interphase with both public and private actors and operate in multiple jurisdictions. At the same time they enjoy immunity from every legal process of national jurisdictions and their assets and archives are inviolable. As states struggle to align jurisdiction-bound laws with de-territorialized nature of digital data, international organizations may emerge as “data havens”. Can international organizations become key actors in global regulation of data flows?
Digitization and the new sources of data raise questions about obligations of international organizations via-a-vis the data they collect, process and use. Do international organizations have a duty to allow access to their data, and do they have a role in facilitating the flow of data also across state borders to those who wish to benefit from such access?