Through several groundbreaking regulations, the EU is attempting to take back control from big tech companies and ensure that the internet will become a safer environment, centered around values such as fair and equal competition, fundamental rights and the rule of law.
With the slogan “a Europe Fit for the Digital Age”, the European Commission has defined a set of goals and outlined several new regulations with the ambition to create “a more sustainable and prosperous digital future in Europe”.
- Digital Services Act (DSA) aims to ensure that what is illegal offline will also become illegal online. More specifically, the DSA is a legislative attempt to hold very large online platforms accountable for illegal and harmful content on their platforms. It also aims to give internet users more insight into why they see certain type of content online, how the algorithms on the platforms work and make it easier to get illegal content and disinformation removed from the platforms.
- Digital Markets Act (DMA) intends to level the playing field for digital companies and foster better competitiveness and digital innovation, as opposed to today’s digital economy where few large (non-European) companies are dominating entirely.
Why are these new digital regulations important?
A limited number of big tech companies are more or less in control of the entire ecosystem of the digital economy. The business model of big tech companies is based on profiting of personal data of internet users. The digital space has been under-regulated for a very long time.
Together, the two legislative frameworks DSA and DMA are historical in their attempt to establish a new set of ground rules for the digital space. The new regulations will not necessarily fix the root causes of the surveillance economy, but they mark the starting point of a new era of digital regulation, with democratic values at the core.
The future of data
In addition to the above-mentioned regulations, the EU has launched a data strategy for a data-driven economy.
The current digital economy is based on surveillance and tracking of user’s personal data online. Data has, as such, become a fundamental resource in the digital economy, and more attention is devoted to how data is collected, used, and shared.
Through the European data strategy, the EU maps out a way for building stronger legal frameworks and better infrastructure for more data sharing, across sectors and borders. Data should be perceived as non-rival goods that can foster economic growth. Several legal frameworks for enhanced data sharing have been adopted by the EU or is currently in the making, as a result of the EU data strategy.
The world’s first attempt to regulate AI
The EU has proposed the world’s first and largest regulatory framework for artificial intelligence – Artificial Intelligence Act (AI act). The law will become a global standard for AI regulation and have wide-ranging implications for the future of both the development and use of AI in Europe.
AI is the most powerful and significant technological development of our time. For AI, data quality is imperative. Therefore, the AI act must be viewed in light of EU’s data strategy.
The ground-breaking legislative process to regulate AI has begun. The European Parliament is now discussing their positions on the Commission’s draft proposal of the law. The AI act will have major implications for productivity, employment, and innovation, also in the Norwegian context.
The impact of digital regulation on Norway
As an EEA member all laws adopted in the EU will be harmonized and implemented within Norwegian laws. The Norwegian Board of Technology therefore follows the legislative efforts closely, to identify how these regulations will affect the digital economy on a national and international level. The overall goal is to raise awareness and knowledge on these issues in Norway.
- The effects of the new laws on the digital future, both in Norway and internationally.
- The effects of the new laws the digital market, digital businesses, and internet users in Norway.
- The potential changes in national governance structures, included national enforcement mechanism.
- The important and relevant political debates in the EU and Norway.
- The role of Norwegian politicians and national policies in shaping our digital future.
- Follow the digital legislative efforts in the EU.
- Keep the Technology Group in the Parliament updated on the relevant processes.
- Engaging in relevant political discussions in Norway, such as hearings and the public debate.
- Publish policy briefs on several of the upcoming digital regulations, that outlines the important political discussions within the proposed regulations, as well as the potential national consequences. These policy brief will be distributed to politicians.
- Organize three digital meetings (tentative May and June 2022) on the role and effects of the digital regulations, with relevant stakeholders and politicians.