European Commission unveils regulatory plan to achieve 'technological sovereignty'

Yolanda Curtis
February 21, 2020

Facebook's CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, visited Brussels on Monday, ahead of the strategy's launch, to discuss the plan with the EU's digital chief, Margrethe Vestager. According to this latest paper on European data strategy, the European data space will give businesses in the EU the possibility to build on the scale of the single market.

United States and Chinese firms hoping to deploy artificial intelligence and other technology in Europe will have to submit to a slew of new rules and tests under the European Commission's proposed AI and digital strategy.

Building an "ecosystem of excellence" created to support the development and uptake of AI across Europe would require a "step up action at multiple levels", according to the Commission, including focusing the efforts of the research and innovation community; developing skills; partnering with the private sector; promoting the adoption of AI by the public sector; and securing access to data and computing structures.

The EU has set out draft plans to help local tech champions and rein in the power of big US tech firms over data. On February 19, 2020, the European Commission (the "Commission") released its 35-page document entitled "A European strategy for data", becoming just the latest of many developments in that area.

For now, they said existing legislation already limits its uses, but the bloc would start a debate on the topic to determine where European citizens would accept it.

In response to complaints about the power wielded by large online platforms, the Commission is also considering introducing rules to stop these companies from unilaterally imposing conditions for access and use of data or benefiting from this in a disproportionate way.

There is also a goal for data centres to be climate neutral by 2030.

The European Commission unveiled its new digital strategy on Wednesday.

A final draft of the proposals is expected by the end of the year.

The White Paper focused much of its attention on regulating Artificial Intelligence and data, below are a few of its proposals. Such inquiries have in the previous triggered investigation into particular person firms, main to fines and different sanctions. In addition, the European Union said it is willing to review what exceptions, if any, may be justified to current rules that mostly ban facial recognition as a form of biometric identification.

Telecoms lobbying teams ETNO and GSMA and the Affiliation of Business Tv in Europe (ACT), which have pushed for tech rivals to be subjected to the identical stringent rules as they're, welcomed the Fee's proposals.

Tech umbrella group CCIA urged the Commission to assess its ideas with care and engage with stakeholders to ensure they boost investments and innovation.

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