The European Union’s ‘Digital Market Law’ is good, but for online users – it’s not good enough

BERLIN–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Several international digital experts have praised the Digital Market Law, but say that its main goal is to foster competition between tech companies while trying to reign over some of the tech giants. They say its primary purpose is not to protect the personal information of digital users.

“The Digital Marketplace Act definitely places constraints on how some of these tech giants can use consumers’ personal data, but in terms of giving them control over their own personal information, that’s not enough,” said Dr. Paul Twomey, one of the lead authors of a report titled Empowerment of digital citizens.

The report, the fruit of two years of work, was presented to the Global Solutions Summit in Berlin, Germany on March 28, 2022. The annual conference brings together senior government officials with top academic researchers, NGO leaders and international CEOs. It transforms research-based knowledge into policy recommendations for the Group of Seven (G7) and Group of 20 (G20) intergovernmental forums.

“The buying and selling of personal data is part of a $515 billion (USD) market,” says Professor Dennis J. Snower, the report’s other lead author. “Digital users are simply not part of this transactional system and, in many cases, do not even know it exists, or who holds their personal information or how it is used. We want the human dynamics of the marketplace to apply to all participants in the online economy.

Under the Empowering digital citizens proposal, online users would have control over who has access to the personally identifiable information they create. They can also, with the help of a representative, set the conditions under which their data can be used (in accordance with the law), and in return they must ensure that their data is accurate and verified by trusted third parties . “Only the illicit drug market and online data aggregators refer to people as users,” Twomey explains. “These proposals transform this model. They empower a world of digital citizens able to strengthen their democratic rights and counter the forces of disinformation.

Twomey and Snower represent the Global Initiative for Digital Empowerment (GIDE), which is made up of more than 70 specialists from around the world, including political experts, researchers, Internet technical experts, businessmen, security specialists and others. GIDE is an initiative of THE NEW INSTITUTE. Based in Hamburg, THE NEW INSTITUTE is an institute for advanced studies and a platform for finding answers to the most pressing ecological, economic and political challenges of our time.

The two digital researchers say a major problem is that many online users of “free services” are offered artificially restricted choices of revealing large amounts of personal data (by agreeing to the terms and conditions of the digital services) or to be excluded from economic and social life. social interactions that define modern life.

The Empowering Digital Citizens initiative will integrate online and digital consumers into the business model currently invisible to the average consumer.

Access the report here: Empowering Digital Citizens. Access an FAQ on the initiative here: Human-Centered Digital Governance Questions and Answers.

Membership Global Initiative for Digital Empowerment can be found on page four of the Empowering Digital Citizens report.

About Dr. Paul Twomey: Dr. Twomey is Co-Lead of the Global Initiative for Digital Empowerment and Fellow and Director of the Digital Governance Initiative at the NEW INSTITUTE. He is a Fellow and Core Theme Leader for “Managing Information and Technology in the Public Interest” at the Global Solutions Initiative. Twomey is also Distinguished Fellow at the Center for International Governance Innovation and Commissioner of the Global Commission for Internet Governance. He is the former CEO of ICANN, the global coordinating body for the Internet’s addressing system.

About Professor Dennis J. Snower: Professor Snower is co-lead of the Global Initiative for Digital Empowerment and director of the socio-economic transformation program of THE NEW INSTITUTE. He is founder and chairman of the Global Solutions Initiative; professor of macroeconomics and sustainability at the Hertie School, Berlin; Senior Fellow at Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford; and Nonresident Fellow of the Brookings Institution. He is co-responsible for this project. He is a researcher at the Center for Economic Policy Research (London), at the IZA (Institute for the Future of Work, Bonn) and at CESifo (Munich).