Bernard Benhamou: Internet and Digital Sovereignty (Conclusion)

7/02/2021 - 17:25

....."The Internet of Things is a major political, industrial and tech- nological challenge for European actors. IoT technologies are capable of transforming all of our economies but also our life- styles and the organization of our democracies. The Internet of Things could also enable Europe to synergize environmental policies and pol- icies related to data protection. It is true that energy management and environmental technologies (also known as climate tech216) are largely based on the analysis of information from sensors and con- nected devices. As these technologies spread in businesses but also into the public space, protecting data from connected devices will be- come a key element for their acceptability and will be a differentiating and trust factor for European technologies even beyond EU borders. 
The major Internet companies are starting to face up to the social, political and industrial limitations of their ‘data-centric’ economic models. Their ever-growing appetite for accumulating personal data has led them to create increasingly intrusive technologies. All this is compounded by the risks of polarizing public opinion and of author- itarian excesses through the control of data from connected devices. Moreover, concentration of the main tech players and their abuse of a dominant position has led the governments of developed countries (and all other economic actors) to object to the status quo imposed by the major tech platforms. 

Developing an Internet of Things that respects data and citizens is essential for the digital sovereignty of EU Member States. It also provides Europe with the opportunity to create an industrial, political and social alternative to US or Chinese technologies. Regaining control of its technological destiny will therefore be one of Europe’s most import- ant political and industrial challenges in the coming decade. "
 

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