Going forward, what approach will the EU take in regulating technology and data?

As Ursula von der Leyen takes over as the new President of the European Commission this week, she has already made her priorities known: climate change and the EU’s transition to clean energy, and the digital revolution and finding the best response to new technologies.

In the case of the latter, there are a range of issues Europe needs to consider, and conflicting views on the best way forward. Lots of MEPs think that, unlike America’s approach in terms of regulating, the EU should set high standards in terms of data protection.

These issues are now affecting the whole world. Many EU leaders believe, therefore, that the region should be leading the way in setting laws and standards to protect citizens. However, experts are still divided on how the Commission should go about doing this.

When it comes to regulating artificial intelligence and data usage, one of the biggest concerns raised by companies in various industries is that it may go too far. Although it’s important to understand the risks, technology brings plenty of benefits that should be utilised.

The EU needs to be careful that its regulations don’t restrict innovation, as so many firms are now using artificial intelligence, algorithms, and other methods to increase productivity. Issues like civic right and data protection are extremely important, but it’s also crucial the EU remains competitive in the international markets.

Stakeholders are watching closely as the Commission determines which direction it will move in in terms of regulating and using technology and data. In Ursula von der Leyen’s speech last week, it seems as though she’s looking to make changes in regulations.

She said: “Digitalisation is making things possible that were unthinkable even a generation ago. To grasp the opportunities and to address the dangers that are out there, we must be able to strike a smart balance where the market cannot.We must protect our European well‑being and our European values.”

“In the digital age, we must continue on our European path. For us, the protection of a person’s digital identity is the overriding priority. We have to have stringent security requirements and a unified European approach.”

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