To empower citizens through a new generation of technologies. This is in a nutshell the intent expressed at the opening of the documentation presented today by the European Commission and which constitutes a first concrete step in the direction desired by many on the old continent. Announced in Brussels by Ursula von der Leyen, it touches on issues as delicate as important as the creation of a single market for data andartificial intelligence.
Europe outlines a digital strategy
Nothing has yet been established or put in black and white in its final form. Some published white paper around which a discussion will be held in the coming months involving all the players involved: the institutions, the authorities of the individual countries, the protagonists of the technological world and the citizens. The targets they are high and ambitions, the way to go for their achievement yet to be defined and certainly not short.
It aims to encourage the creation of digital solutions capable of putting people first, facilitate the birth of new business, push the development of reliable systems to support one open and democratic society as well as asustainable economy. Then we talk about mobility, the fight against disinformation, recycling, health, energy, the mobile market, training, work and much more.
– Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) February 19, 2020
Between the lines we can read the desire to ensure that even in the EU territory realities capable of competing with the big names in the hi-tech landscape have literally exploded in the last two decades in the United States and China (therefore Google, Amazon and Facebook). There is not even a reference to how theinnovation it may prove to be of fundamental importance in the fight against climate change with long-term objectives reaching 2050.
Innovation yes, but without compromise
All this without forgetting that every initiative must be implemented in full compliance with the provisions of legislation such as the GDPR, which with the introduction dating back to almost two years ago has set more stringent stakes than the laws of other territories as regards the methods of data processing. These are the words of Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission for a couple of months.
Today we present our ambition to shape Europe's digital future. It affects everything from cybersecurity to critical infrastructures, from digital education to skills, from democracy to the media. I want digital Europe to reflect the best of Europe: openness, fairness, diversity, democracy and trust.
A secure and dynamic single market for data:
The way we organize data access determines our future innovation capacity. This includes better combating emergencies, greening our cities and helping people live longer and healthier lives.
More → https://t.co/IkMcTjYW31 #DigitalEU pic.twitter.com/0ldP0wV1uY
– European Commission 🇪🇺 (@EU_Commission) February 19, 2020
Matter of taxes, privacy and AI
Without going into the folds of each of the published documents (we will have the opportunity to do it from time to time), the declaration of intent can only sound an alarm bell in the headquarters of the big hi-tech mentioned above. On the table there are also delicate issues such as the Digital Tax which the old continent has already defined as an "absolute priority" and which should finally come into force by the end of the year.
On the subject of artificial intelligence, however, it will be important to define how protect privacy and information of citizens without putting a brake on innovation. In this area, among other things, effective rules for the use of facial recognition systems will be established, technologies that today seem to be able to escape the meshes of regulations due to a substantial legislative vacuum.