As you know, at Effisyn SDS, we are convinced that digital technology is a major issue for the next five years. And, in fact, from our point of view, this subject must be taken seriously by the presidential candidates. Of course, talking about digital without addressing the subject of our sovereignty in this field would be a mistake, given the stakes that it represents not only in economic and technological terms, but also in our relationship to the world and to democracy, and of course on the cultural level.
Digital, a shudder among the candidates ?
The first to have opened the ball on this theme, was JL Mélenchon during an intervention on the set of C dans l’air dedicated to the presidential election where he tackles the digital (from 20mn). He showed that he has worked on the subject (Proposals), and he proposes a coherent vision of digital sovereignty.
The second one who presented a very clear picture on digital, its stakes, sovereignty and its vision, was the last candidate to enter the campaign, Rafik Smati from Objectif France, who spoke during an interview he had the pleasure to grant us (Présidentielle 2022 – Les Rendez-vous du Numérique). By his background, this candidate comes from the civil life and is a digital entrepreneur, who gives a certain weight to his vision. This vision of the digital world is divided into several major coherent themes, Artificial Intelligence, Digital and Uberization.
The third candidate to have built a structured program on digital technology (Proposals), who has communicated on the subject is the candidate of the conservative right, Éric Zemmour. His proposals were presented to the press on Monday February 14th (Les Echos – 14 Feb 22), after a long interview in the Parisian offices of Ledger (Les Echos -26 Jan 22), the world leader in cryptocurrency storage.
So, we have three candidates who have not only built a well thought out digital agenda but who are communicating on it, showing the importance of the issues related to these topics.
What about the other?
None of the other major candidates have yet made their proposals known, even if they exist as for the PCF. Unfortunately, I could not find in the programs of LR, PS or EELV the awareness of the importance of the digital as a theme in its own right. I do not claim that they do not treat the subject, but at best as a sub-heading of their other themes. The conclusion that can be drawn is that they have absolutely not taken into account the importance of this subject and its transversal impacts on the economic, technological, security, cultural but also environmental aspects that they pose.
There are a myriad of small candidates, who may have an interesting vision on these themes but who unfortunately lack media visibility or even on the net.
The government’s record on digital issues and the candidate’s vision?
You will tell me, that I forget the main one, the non-candidate and current president. No, I don’t forget him, and I can’t be soft on his vision of digital nor on the policy he has implemented, especially under the aegis of the last secretary of state in charge of digital.
Let’s be factual, if the government is now talking about digital sovereignty, what are the acts?
On the bad side :
- At the end of 2019 – beginning of 2020, creation of the Health Data Hub with the choice of Microsoft as cloud operator without a call for tender. For information, it is a question of storing all the health data of the French with an operator subject to American law
- June 2020, in the middle of the crisis, the BPI decides to store the data of the companies requesting the State Guaranteed Loan (with critical economic information) on AWS (Amazon), once again a company subject to American rights…
- Failed attempt by Palantir (specialized in Big Data) to obtain a contract with the APHP
- In October 2021, it is the announcement of a partnership between Thales (a major company in the defense sector, sensitive and strategic if it is) and Google
- At the beginning of 2022, the SNCF, a public company, decided to switch a large part of its infrastructure to AWS, once again… To hell with the data of millions of users.
- We should also mention the “trusted cloud” initiative, which will be launched in 2021. The idea is to build ex nihilo a solution where Orange and Cap Gemini would operate a cloud based on American technologies with an “abolition” of the legal risk linked to the extraterritoriality of American laws. Why not call on the existing serious French cloud players who are able to fulfill this mission?
- Let’s not talk about the anecdotal episode where our Secretary of State parades with a T-shirt bearing the Google logo …
On the good side :
- DIRNUM prohibits Office 365 implementation as not in line with cloud center strategy.
As you can see, this assessment does not leave much hope on the positioning of the future candidate and current president on what he will actually do for sovereignty.
The awareness on digital is there. There are some serious and interesting proposals, mainly from 3 candidates at the moment. It is time that all the candidates take a stand on this issue.
Following our first interview with Rafik Smati, we are eager to give the opportunity to other candidates, small or big, to present their vision and share it with the largest number of people!