European Digital Strategy Unveiled, What That Means for Google Owner Alphabet, Facebook, and Amazon

The White Paper reveals what the European Commission has decided.
Fabienne Lang
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The European Commission unveiled its new digital strategy on Wednesday. There are a number of new restrictions that companies such as Facebook, Amazon, and Google owner Alphabet will have to adhere and adjust to. 

The White Paper focused much of its attention on regulating Artificial Intelligence and data, below are a few of its proposals. 

New European digital strategy

European industry chief, Thierry Breton, shared the new and forward-looking strategies and he stressed that people come first. With this in mind, he hopes the new strategies will open "new opportunities for business," as well as increase "the development of trustworthy technology to foster an open and democratic society and a vibrant and sustainable economy."

In Breton's own words "Our society is generating a huge wave of industrial and public data, which will transform the way we produce, consume and live. Europe has everything it takes to lead the ‘big data’ race, and preserve its technological sovereignty, industrial leadership and economic competitiveness to the benefit of European consumers."

Some of the points the White Paper proposes are as follows: 

  • Launch a debate about when it is justified to use facial recognition for remote biometric identification.
  • Establish the right regulatory framework on data governance, its access and reuse between businesses, between businesses and government, and within administrations.
  • Launch sector-specific actions to build European data spaces in for instance industrial manufacturing, the green deal, mobility or health.
  • Ensure AI systems in health, policing, or transport, are transparent, traceable and guarantee human oversight.

The final draft will be complete and available before the end of the year. The hope is to establish a balance for European companies competing in the digital space who are up against mega-companies in China, and the U.S., for example. 

As Reuters wrote, the Commission will also address "complaints about the power wielded by large online platforms" and is thinking about introducing rules to "stop these companies from unilaterally imposing conditions for access, and use of data, or benefiting from this in a disproportionate manner."