miércoles, 22 de abril de 2015

The positive impact of the #DigitalSingleMarket on the global digital economy (I)

Europe is currently debating its set of digital policy priorities for the next five years. After the "Digital Agenda for Europe", it looks that the new name would be something similar to "Digital Single Market Strategy". The focus of the new agenda will be the complete digitisation of the European economy and society, and this would mean bringing the Single Market to the digital world. 

There are different elements that could be part of the new European digital strategy, but the real value is the force of the idea of the elimination of the fragmentation of the European digital economy. The implementation of Digital Single Market is a complete shift of paradigm. Leveraging a market of more than 500 million of digital consumers, Europe could change the current state of whole playing field of the technology market. 

The aspiration of Europe of being the leader of the digital economy could sound as an hyperbolic target. Nevertheless, the bet of the Digital Single Market is beginning to be taken seriously by the Internet giants. The field the protection of personal data is one area where the new situation is easier to appreciate. Enforcing the right to privacy in the digital world looked as an European utopia years ago, specially because the services most used by European consumers are based in the US. The lack of a convincing answer from US authorities after the Snowden case strenghthened the force of the European demands. And in the end the US companies are beginning to fullfill the requirements the of the European laws. The controversial case of "rigth to be forgotten" has shown that Google can change its search algorithms under legal requirement. Microsoft´s  reluctancy to give the US authorities the e-mails contained in its European servers was unthinkable in 2005. Amazon and Apple are enlarging its European data centers in order to ensure that they will process personal data according the European law.

The cases mentioned above are evidences of the strength of Europe to shape the digital world. Firmness in the European values is the only path to recovering the leading post in the digital world. Defending the rights of Europeans is even having good consequences for the rights of US citizens amid the roar of the lobbies.

Not always regulations are the solution for the digital economy, but Europe should not fear to use this tool to create the Digital Single market. If it is a good regulation for the Digital Single Market it would be a good regulation for global digital economy. Anyway, the more importance target should not be only regulations, but having the right tools for each case to avoid abuses, as the VP Ansip said,

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