Democratizing Digitization: Respecting Human Rights and Fighting “Big Tech”.

27 is immersed in the digital transition of the economy. This is one of the main focuses of the recovery plans, with which the European Union plans to inject 800,000 million euros in the coming years. Often people talk about infrastructure, 5G or connectivity strategies that are far from not only the common citizen’s language, but also their everyday effectiveness. The report, prepared for the European Parliament, advocates a “democratization of digitalization” that places human rights at the epicenter of the strategy and separates it from the “big technology” that now drives it.

Document [en inglés] It includes a priori issues such as guaranteeing access to the Internet as a citizen’s right, as well as proposals related to the creation and storage of content, interpersonal communication or browsing.

“The fact that the basic layer of everyday digitization is more intensively provided by only a few “big machines”, even in basic institutions and services, is a wrong signal to the market: it is said that digitization is done by sacrificing a little. and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that sacrifice innovation as a valuable human capacity and sometimes at the expense of human rights and European values,” said Simona Levy, director of XNet and coordinator of the report “A Proposal for a Sovereign and Democratic Digitalization of Europe” . .

Goodbye Google or Microsoft

One of the concerns he mentioned in a presentation in which MEPs Pina Picierno (S&D); Stelios Kouloglou (GUE/NGL) and Patrick Breyer (Greens/EFA) and Bram Vranken, researcher at the Corporate Europe Observatory; The Transnational Institute and the European Parents’ Association “have a right to privacy” to “disclose” companies that have “profit interests in an unbalanced market”. “That’s why we offer a sovereign solution for email and interpersonal communication in Europe, led by EU institutions,” he said.

The debate about the democratization of online life also includes reducing dependence on big companies. In this regard, a report commissioned by the late President of the European Parliament, David Sasol, is based on the experience of the Barcelona City Council, in which Xnet developed a free software and open source tool for schools and educational institutions as an alternative to conventional programs. Word processing and video conferencing used in classrooms owned by Google and Microsoft.

The initiative started out of fear of families collecting minors’ personal data, such as their location, private conversations, academic records or psychological profiles, through Google Suite, a suite used in schools. Catalan public companies their free offering by the technology giant.

Following the steps initiated by the Italian Socialist leader, who advocated the rise of digitization “in terms of rights” and not so much “algorithms and platforms”, Levy, who was one of the promoters of the Bankia Case with 15MPaRato, concludes that it should be. Create a European coalition for free, auditable and interoperable code for public services, accessible to institutions and companies.

In any case, it seems to be a battle between David and Goliath, as technology companies have become the main lobby of the EU, with annual costs of around 100 million euros.

Source: El Diario





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