This Guide aims to explain the complex legal and regulatory aspects of the digital economy for all stakeholders, regardless of their technical knowledge or policy experience. This Guide serves as both a tool for approaching the advocacy process and as a regulatory and legal resource for private and public sector counterparts to develop a shared language for the initial stages of dialogue. The four priority topics covered in the Guide include Consumer Protection, Data Protection, Cybersecurity, and Electronic Transactions (e-payments and e-signatures). Each topic is defined and discussed in the context of business advocacy and each section contains a checklist for assessing existing national legal and regulatory frameworks. The Guide begins with a summary guide, starting with a definition of the digital economy and identifies the Guide’s many audiences, including local business communities, regulators, and civil society. It offers insights on leveraging the Guide and avenues for advocacy and public private dialogue. Part two, the Legal Deep Dives, include detailed information on international and regional frameworks, institutional frameworks, examples of different regulatory approaches used around the world, and considerations for implementation and enforcement of laws and regulations.
Together, these topics constitute much of the enabling environment for the digital economy and affect nearly every aspect of conducting business online in a responsible and secure manner. National policies, laws, and regulations governing this new space heavily influence development outcomes. Local businesses and organizations that represent them must be equipped to advocate for an enabling environment that promotes inclusive growth in a digital future.
The dialogue process, its lessons and outcomes offer important insights for other reformers in other countries working towards enabling a more inclusive digital economy. CIPE encourages those participating in dialogue and advocacy regarding the digital economy and those using this Guide to share insights and stories with CIPE by tweeting at @CIPEglobal with the hashtag #DigitalEconomyDialogues.