The National Digital Rights Festival – 24 May, Tirana

The National Digital Rights Festival – 24 May, Tirana

The National Digital Rights Festival – 24 May, Tirana

The National Digital Rights Festival brought together 15 new ambassadors of digital rights and cybersecurity in Tirana to discuss with senior representatives of independent institutions in charge of personal data protection, cybersecurity, and protection against discrimination. 

The ambassadors’ conversation with Mr. Besnik Dervishi, Commissioner for Information and Data Protection, focused on the journey of the Commissioner’s Office, the work the institution performs in the function of protecting personal data, the challenges of protecting personal data against technological advancement, aligning legislation with the acquis, and the role of young people in creating and strengthening a culture in digital rights protection. “As digital tools develop, so must our culture on how to protect ourselves,” Commissioner Dervishi said. 

The Digital Rights and Cybersecurity Ambassadors continued the discussion with Ms. Floreta Faber, Deputy Director General, of the National Authority for Cybersecurity, focusing on elements related to increasing awareness and capabilities of young people regarding cybersecurity hygiene. 

The conversation with Mr. Gajda, Commissioner for Protection Against Discrimination, focused on the role of the institution and the importance of evidence-based decisions to combat discriminatory practices. 

Finally, a digital rights information platform was consulted with participating CSOs, youth and experts, with the aim of better serving the information needs of the wider civic ecosystem in the country.

The “National Festival of Digital Rights,” implemented by the Science and Innovation for Development Center – SCiDEV – aims to empower civil society and youth to protect their digital rights through increased cybersecurity. The project introduces the Digital Rights and Cybersecurity Ambassadors program, which aims to empower youth in the cities of Vlorë/Fier, Shkodër, Pogradec, and Tirana, to assist local communities in protecting and implementing their digital rights. 

The journey of the fifteen selected ambassadors began in October 2023, where they, together with other young people, were part of a knowledge-enhancing program in the fields of digital rights and cybersecurity. Subsequently, under the guidance of four mentors, the ambassadors worked to deepen their knowledge in their chosen fields and culminated in organizing four YouthLed Digital Rights talks in their cities of origin. 

The National Digital Rights Festival is supported by the regional project “SMART Balkans – Civil Society for Common Values in the Western Balkans” implemented by the Center for the Promotion of Civil Society (CPCD), the Institute for Democracy and Mediation, and the Center for Research and Policy-Making (CRPM) with the financial support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway.