June Lowery-Kingston, Jan-Hendrik Passoth, and Michael Veale : “Digital Superpowers and Geopolitics”
"This panel will focus on the modern colonial powers in cyberspace - global concerns controlling digital platforms and social networks."
June Lowery-Kingston, European Commission
Jan-Hendrik Passoth, ENS / Viadrina, Germany
Michael Veale, University College London, UK
- Moderator: James Larus, EPFL, Switzerland
About the Event
January 26, 2021
5:00 – 6:30 PM
In Cyberspace, the modern “colonial powers” are not nations but multinational companies, mostly American but with strong competition emerging in China. These companies control the digital platforms central to most peoples’ social networks, communications, entertainment, and commerce and, through them, have collected and continue to collect limitless information about our friends, colleagues, preferences, opinions, and secrets. With the knowledge obtained by processing this information/data, these companies have built some of the world’s more profitable businesses, turning little pieces of information given to them by uninformed users in return for “free services”, into extremely valuable, targeted advertising. These companies, moreover, endeavor to operate in the space between countries, with very limited responsibility/ accountability to governments. At the same time, governments such as in China and the US have laws requiring such companies to divulge data obtained from their customers anywhere in the world. Does this pose a threat to national or European sovereignty? This panel will endeavor to appraise the current situation, assess the potential impact of actions already initiated as well as explore new ones.
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