CCI France under the influence of GAFAM?
Controversy? The French actors of digital sovereignty observe the lobbying actions of GAFAM and meet with CCI France to defend the interests of digital actors in France and Europe.
Digital sovereignty in question ?
For two years, the “PlayFrance Digital” collective and the “Effysin-SDS” blog have been working for digital sovereignty in France and Europe.
The term “sovereignty” is now part of the title of the “Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty” and the conference “Building Europe’s Digital Sovereignty” held in February 2022 sets the European course.
Digital sovereignty is one of the levers of economic development of territories and regions. Our technologies, our companies, our jobs, the independence of our data, the control of our future are all at stake. Digital sovereignty is of general interest.
In this context, French digital actors sent an open letter to CCI France at the end of November 2022, preparing an upcoming meeting.
GAFAMS weave their web in the CCI ?
Throughout France, CCIs are offering training in “Google Digital Workshops”. An initiative out of the ordinary because of its national scope and its remarkable gratuity.
Its initiator, Benoit Tabaka, Chief Lobbyist for Google France, has pulled off a masterful coup. Director of institutional relations and public policies of Google France, Benoit Tabaka seems to promote Google through the CCI network.
In order to understand what is at stake and the consequences of the agreement, we have studied on 30/11/2022, with the help of the Google search engine, the keywords present on the pages of the CCI.FR websites. Without much surprise Google is represented at 41%.
Our study reveals more than 100,000 pages promoting Google and its solutions. 3,250 “Google Digital Workshops”, 6,950 “Google My Business”, 68,900 “Youtube”, a real media plan.
The study reflects the predominance of Google and Facebook with 76% of pages searched within the CCI.FR sites, a singular proportion.
Paradoxically, Microsoft remains discreet (3%) even if we add the term “office automation” (2%). More surprisingly, the term “antivirus” appears 220 times, which is not much to raise awareness of “good digital practices” and help SMEs to protect themselves.
The CCI and digital technology, what resources ?
Public establishments, the CCI collect the taxes paid by French companies, 375 million €uros in 2022. Their mission of general interest: to contribute to economic development, to the attractiveness of the territories, to the support of companies and associations.
The CCIs, the second largest provider of training after the State through the network of schools they finance, are strategic players in apprenticeship and higher education.
In parallel, let’s recall the recent decision of the French National Education Ministry declaring Office 365 and Google Workspace neither compliant with the RGPD, nor with the “Cloud at the Center” doctrine of the State, nor with the Schrems 2 ruling of the European Court of Justice.
Therefore, the predominance of GAFAM promotion within the CCI is very anachronistic… The awareness of SMEs to digital technology cannot be the reason for a systemic promotion of GAFAM without representing a remarkable distortion.
Finally, the financing of the free training operation “Google Digital Workshops” should be clarified, noting that most of the CCI trainings are paying…
The choice of our dependence
Another point, on which we have no information. The services provided by the CCIs at the request of the State for the collection and processing of data on companies. With which Cloud operators? A thousand dollar question or a thousand euro question?
The answer of the deputy Philippe Latombe, defender of the Digital Sovereignty, often interviewed in the Blog of the digital sovereignty (Effysin-SDS) is masterful: “The French digital sovereignty is the ability to choose our dependencies.
He specifies that there is now “a fairly strong technological awareness on the part of the State and administrations” and moderates by observing that “The State operates in silos, there is no cross-cutting vision. We don’t have a Ministry of Digital Affairs that drives a global vision.
One thing is certain: digital sovereignty is no longer a debate of ideas.
It has become a major economic debate. Europe and the Americans are fighting hard, sometimes over the cloud and data, sometimes over taxes and subsidies… French digital companies are also participating, soon meeting with CCI France.
Google analysis method on CCI.FR (example search for the term “google”)
A partnership between Google and CCI Provence Côte d’Azur
Conference “Building Europe’s Digital Sovereignty
Microsoft and Google excluded from school by the National Education
National and European digital sovereignty – Information report