Session 1: Keynote speech
Session 1: Data Protection & Privacy of the European Digital Future
ePrivacy Directive, GDPR, ways of harmonisation, Privacy Shield, transparency
State of Play:
In a time where ever rising amounts of data are shared using digital platforms, privacy is as important a policy area as ever. While privacy of citizens and businesses is an established objective for policymakers, digital transformation is challenging how future proof current regulations can be. Recognising the rapid development in the area, the Commission has proposed a new e-privacy regulation, so to replace the e-privacy directive currently applicable to Electronic Communication Services (ECS), such as those of telecoms providers. At the same time the GDPR is introduced to provide safeguards across a broader spectrum of activities and services, with rules that differ from the e-privacy regulation.
- What are the pros and cons of different data provisions in the ePrivacy Directive and GDPR?
- How can transparency play the optimal role in safeguarding data protection?
- Which up-and-coming and future technologies make it harder to ensure a fully future-proof specification of data protection rules?
Session 2: Boosting growth for SMEs in the Digital Single Market
digital transformation, industry 4.0, connectivity, flow of data, skills, start-up, AI
State of Play:
The Digital Single Market is a cornerstone in helping SMEs succeed in the digital transformation. A fully-fledged Digital Single Market would enhance the growth opportunities for the economy in general and the SMEs in particular, which are a key contributor to the EU economy. In the retail sector, Eurostat data shows that SMEs generate a majority (52%) of turnover and are thus a key solution for consumers.
The Commission actively promotes policies that are designed to help SMEs with the digital transformation through a number of initiatives under the Digital Single Market. The initiatives include, harmonising e-commerce regulations to ensure sellers are not deterred from cross-border sales as well as promoting e-government services, resulting in facing fewer administrative burdens – which would otherwise weigh disproportionately on SMEs.
- Is the regulatory framework evolving in a way that allows European SMEs to “punch above their weight” growing using digital tools to the fullest?
- To what extent do citizens hold appropriate digital skills to handle data in an active and aware way?
- What is the optimal specification of privacy safeguards, given the EU’s aim to support its consumers and businesses?
- Can European start-ups and SMEs rely on the relevant skills, data and analytics to innovate their services and business models, contributing to digital transformation?
Session 3: Digital Infrastructure - Towards Maximum Connectivity
Keywords: Spectrum, 5G, broadband, EECC, WiFi4E, innovation ecosystem, development