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Would Europe decide to sell off our data in exchange for American gas?

Source: Pixabay

At the risk of shocking people with its crude language, this article is a real rant! For the readers who follow me, it will not be a surprise, I have been defending our sovereignty for a number of years, and more particularly our digital sovereignty in an active way. I won’t remind you of the logical reasons that should push us to take this dimension into account.

What provokes my anger is once again the casualness with which our European technocrats, magnificently represented by Ursula Von Der Leyen, have sold the data of European citizens to the United States on the sly.

 

The Facts

 

The Ukrainian crisis has unsuspected impacts.

Let’s remember that the politico-ideological choice of our German “partners” to get out of nuclear power has increased their dependence on fossil fuels, coal and gas, with an essential dependence on Russian gas.

The Ukrainian crisis has upset all this, and this dependence is becoming difficult to bear, so our German “friends” need American liquefied gas to get out of it.

The Americans are only too happy to extend a hand to the Germans and offer to generously open the valves of their gas. For what consideration? The satisfaction of punishing the Russians? Certainly. The sound and stumbling dollars? Certainly, but also and above all our data.

As we had the opportunity to mention in the excellent interview with the Deputy Philippe Latombe and our French digital actors, we had a window of opportunity of 3 to 4 years to allow our French and European companies to grow and come up with solid alternatives to American solutions (Les Rendez-vous du Numérique Mars 2022).

This possibility has just been reduced to nothing by Ursula Von der Leyen, who has sacrificed the European and French digital industry on the altar of German interests. If I were a cynic, I would say that this was done at the right time, because it seems to me that this is one of the rare industrial sectors where French excellence is not an empty word, and in which we are able to build a world leader, or at least a European one. It is a small step to think that we should not overshadow the German economy, whatever the cost, but I will not take it…

What is more worrying is the deafening silence of our political leaders. Our secretary of state in charge of digital technology, Cédric O, is probably more busy preparing his reconversion in the private sector, for an American company (Effisyn SDS) ? As for our President, it is not much better, did you say sovereignty? Sorry, no time, we have to save world peace.

 

Privacy shield-2 what to do?

 

This is a question that is difficult to answer at the moment, if it is confirmed, we will have to react, otherwise the consequences will be disastrous.

Indeed, it is hard to believe that the reasons that led to the invalidation of the #SafeHarbor (CJEU’s #schremmI ruling) and then to the invalidation of the #PrivacyShield (CJEU’s #schremmII ruling) have disappeared. There is no sign that the US legislation has drastically evolved since this last invalidation.

The crux of the problem is that the US laws do not offer the same protection for people’s personal data at all. In France and in Europe, your data belongs to you, in the US, it belongs to those who collect it, like the #gafam… This point will not be solved, a priori, by any version of the #PrivacyShield.

If this information (a priori solid), is confirmed, we will have to mobilize ourselves, we actors of the French and European digital industry, so that we quickly reach a #schremmIII ruling of the #CJEU.

In parallel, it would also be wise to demand an investigation at the European level, in order to understand how this decision was taken, what was the discussion mandate, were all the European partners involved. What role did Ursula Von der Leyen play in this agreement, did she sacrifice European interests to German interests?

 

Conclusion

 

Although it passed under the media radar, this decision has made many French digital actors react. Most of them are disillusioned, and receive this news as a blow, or rather a stab in the back.

I fear that unfortunately our political leaders are in total misunderstanding of what the digital industry represents for our future economy, and/or that they are totally vassalized in body and mind to the American imperialism.

I am not even convinced that even in the unlikely case that the current tenant of the Elysée would not be reappointed things would change significantly.

However, the fight goes on, and if users finally understand the need to change the model that subjects us to American technologies, we will manage to gain our digital independence. The way will be long and difficult, in front of the negligence of our leaders it seems to me important that the citizens in the digital field as elsewhere that it is in the private or professional field become consumers-actors!

If in many companies, big or small, managers and/or buyers-imposed criteria of sovereignty / technological independence, in order to take into account, the geopolitical risk, but also the social and environmental impact in the choice of the digital, we could redraw the landscape of the French digital which is currently vassalized to American technologies!

 

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