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Vestager Wants EU To Focus On Creating Trust In Digital Tech

 |  June 29, 2021

Europeans have low trust in technology and this might hamper the uptake of emerging technologies, the European Commission’s Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager has warned.

“The development of digital technology holds the key to a large degree of our prosperity and competitiveness. That will not happen if we do not trust the technology. This is why our European approach to digitisation puts people first,” the EU digital chief said at the first EURACTIV-GIGA Europe Digital Debate on June 21.

According to Euractiv TV, the Danish policymaker points to four pillars to create trust in the digital transition.

First, transparency about how technology works, notably in relation to automated decision-making. Second, Europeans need skills and understanding to take the technology into their hands. Third, a solid and reliable infrastructure. Fourth, a free and safe online environment where users can remain in control.

In December, the Commission put forth the Digital Services Act (DSA), a key legislative proposal to regulate online content and services, which introduces new transparency measures.

It requires platforms to explain how their algorithms work and obliges them to take measures to protect users from illegal and harmful content without affecting the freedom of speech. When removing content, online platforms will also have to explain the reasoning behind their decision.

“We see platforms as black boxes powered by sophisticated algorithms that get to choose what we see of the world that we live in. Or maybe more importantly what we don’t see. To gain control over digital technologies, we must first understand them,” Vestager explained.

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