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Insights: Is Data Regulation Hurting Tech Innovation?

November 19, 2019 00:00 AM UTC
- Updated May 06, 2020 17:31 PM UTC

Officials from Ireland, France, and Germany offer their thoughts. (November 2019)

[MUSIC PLAYING] ADAM LASHINSKY: One of your planks is to figure out how to regulate while also encouraging industry. And would you discuss that a little bit? MARIE-LAURE DENIS: Yes. I think, of course I understand that a protection can be more reglamentation, tax reglamentaion, competition reglamentation, another reglamentation. But I think our idea and into a bit of the European authorities is that it can foster innovation, also an economy, because digital economy will not grow, from a sustainable point of view, if there is no trust. And we see all over the world that trust is the key word for development of digital economy. There have been many scandals about data protection breaches. We see, each time we do a control, we see there are breaches, for example, or there are problems. And people are more and more conscious of that. And I think innovation can be compatible with data protection. HELEN DIXON: I agree entirely with Marie-Laure. Data protection is about engendering trust of citizens or customers, depending on whether public sector or private sector entities. It's simply a framework to allow an organization to do something in the right way. It doesn't out and out prohibit anything. There are ways of legitimizing different forms of personal data processing, once the interests of the individuals whose data are being processed are protected in the process. ULRICH KELBER: We are dealing a lot with the American big tech companies as individual companies with their cloud services, which are much ahead of European services these days, and even with the Privacy Shield, negotiations and reviews. I think we have to have a look out for other countries, third party countries, where a lot of data processing with European companies are made in, like China, Indonesia, India, and not only concentrate on the American companies. But to enforce our data protection, our first duty is to ensure the constitutional rights of individuals. From privacy and self-determination, we have to have a look out, even on American web services, on cloud services, and especially with regulations like the US Cloud Act, the debate about the agreement, an umbrella agreement, between the European Union and the US about cloud services. We have to have a look out is who can have a grip on that data in such services each data is collected, because that idea of a data leak, a business case, that's not a European value. ADAM LASHINSKY: I confess that before preparing for our panel, I did not know about the US Cloud Act. Now I do. But could you briefly tell everybody what it is? ULRICH KELBER: Briefly. The basic idea of that you can have access to data, which are stored by companies, even if the physical place of storage is not inside the country itself, that means the US, but even, for example, in the European Union, which is in a kind of rivalry to European regulations of who can have access on data. [CHIME]