Posts Under: International Policy

European Council Approves Negotiating Mandates for Trade Agreements with United States

On Monday April 15th the European Council approved negotiating mandates for two potential trade agreements between the European Union and the United States.  This is a procedural but important step in the process, as it signifies that the leaders of all 28 EU Member States have given their approval for the European Commission to act on their behalf to formally launch negotiations with the U.S. on two potential trade agreements – one on conformity assessment, and the other on eliminating tariffs on industrial goods.  Launching these negotiations is a direct outcome of the meeting between President Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker last July, as articulated in the Joint Statement. While this is certainly a significant development in transatlantic relations, it’s important to note that the mandates are narrowly drawn, intended to achieve what EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström described as “two targeted agreements that wil ...

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Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) Hosts January 25, 2019 Artificial Intelligence Event With George Washington University’s Institute For International Economics And The Institute For International Science And Technology

This well attended event entitled: “Artificial Intelligence: What Can be Learned from Other Countries Approaches?” can be viewed on YouTube here.   Professor Susan Aaronson provide a preview of her work on the topic which will be discussed in a paper entitled: “Data is a Development Issue.”  Some takeaways included the reality that there are no broadly generalizable studies on the impact of AI on job creation – in fact, available data can be used to posit both that it contributes to job loss or gain; cybersecurity will include an AI component; bias in AI is possible (just as it is in non-AI contexts), but it can be addressed; and, the AI use skills deficiency in people capable of an inter-disciplinary approach to AI use is both real but also an opportunity.  Given that McKinsey (among other estimates of the economic impact of AI) estimates that AI could deliver up to 16% higher global GDP by 2030, understanding and taking advantage of t ...

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French Data Protection Authority (DPA - CNIL) Google Fine Shows That Regulatory-Industry Cooperation Crucial To Get Privacy Right

On January 21, 2019, the French National Data Protection Commission (CNIL) fined Google Euros 50 million for not complying with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).   There will be a legal challenge, but this blog focuses on the policy considerations surrounding the decision.  There are at least three initial takeaways from the CNIL decision.  First, this enforcement action demonstrates that the GDPR should not be replicated word for word in a possible U.S. federal privacy law.  Some notion of consumer harm should enter the calculation when a fine is considered.  Second, DPAs should be more forthcoming with guidance on how to comply with the GDPR, especially when companies are making a good faith effort to comply with the law.  Third, there is a risk that the one-stop-shop is going to become effectively meaningless.  As U.S. policymakers consider a federal privacy law, this should be a key co ...

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How Can the United States Promote Global U.S. Blockchain Competitiveness?

SIIA is a believer in blockchain’s potential as this Issue Brief makes clear and is interested in continuing the conversation we started with the Congressional Blockchain Caucus about how policy can be leveraged to promote blockchain-based solutions to real-world problems.  Broadly speaking, blockchain should be seen as one of several technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Computing that the U.S. government should promote as part of its overall foreign digital economic policy.  Given the fact that much ink has been spilled about how blockchain can make supply chains more efficient and transparent, streamline trade finance, and help customs authorities,  SIIA offers the following ideas for how policy could help advance blockchain adoption.  Include protection for blockchain in future trade agreements  One way of perhaps including such protection could be to include in future trade agreements the below language in yellow in the cross ...

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When it Comes to The Global AI Race, There is No Singular “Key” to Success

Yesterday, ITIF’s Center for Data Innovation held an event titled, “How Countries are Preparing for the Global AI Race.”  The panelists touched on the approaches that the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, China, and India are taking with respect to the development of AI.   As the panel progressed, it became clearer that there is no singular “key” to “winning” the global AI race. It is important to recognize that the challenges in AI advancement vary from country to country.  For example, China has a competitive advantage in terms of data, but it still has a considerable skills gap that is hindering that data from being utilized in an AI capacity.  According to panelist Robin Mishra of the German Embassy, Germany has a highly-skilled labor force and has invested a considerable amount in research and development, yet it lacks robust industry outside of manufacturing that can take advantage of further developing A ...

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SIIA Files Comments on International Internet Policy Priorities

Today, SIIA filed these comments to the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) on international Internet policy priorities.  The comments are in response to this NTIA Notice of Inquiry (NOI) soliciting stakeholder input.  SIIA’s suggested priorities are summarized below.  The first three priorities are particularly important because they lay the foundation for good international Internet policy, broadly speaking.

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The Future of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Europe

The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) and the European Center for International Political Economy (ECIPE) hosted a stimulating June 19, 2018  panel discussion on “The Future of AI” in Brussels at ECIPE’s offices.   European Commission Policy Officer Andrea Glorioso, Delft University Professor Jeroen van den Hoven, Elsevier Senior Vice President  for Analytics for Research Products Elisabeth Ling, and Thomson Reuters Global Head of Risk Technology Management Solutions Alex Cesar provided perspectives on what it will take for the European Union to achieve the ambitious public and private and investment objectives it has set for itself in its April 25, 2018 Communication on Artificial Intelligence.  It was a privilege to moderate this event, and I thank ECIPE and the panelists for their participation.     Synopsis of Panelist Views Andrea Glorioso noted that the Commission has specifically opted not to pr ...

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General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Entry-Into-Force: Ten Suggestions From SIIA

Tomorrow is May 25 and therefore the entry-into-force of the GDPR.  The European Commission views the GDPR as one of its significant Digital Single Market (DSM) achievements.  The Commission estimates that the DSM could add Euros 415 billion a year to EU GDP and add hundreds of thousands of jobs (see also this document on the economic impact of the DSM).  There is no Commission calculation on what contribution the GDPR would make to this overall DSM estimate (it does say that GDPR will save business some money – see below), but the Commission argues that the GDPR will enhance trust in the digital economy and therefore promote the expansion of Europe’s digital economy. As somebody who has spent a significant portion of the last year on counselling member companies on the GDPR, the immediate compliance burden looms larger than the possible innovation opportunity.  Nonetheless, there is still scope for European regulators and policymakers to interpret an ...

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“What’s This New European Privacy Law About?”: Demystifying the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

With just over a week until the European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into effect, companies around the world are coming into compliance with the far-reaching law. Inboxes everywhere have been overflowing with consent notifications over the past few months. If you’re just getting started on GDPR or generally curious, here is a brief overview of the GDPR. Disclaimer – GDPR is broadly written and is context-specific. If your company is in need of compliance help, consider engaging with an outside firm to address your compliance needs.

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