Donnerstag, 28.10.2021 00:35 Uhr

Data and the sovereignty of a state

Verantwortlicher Autor: Carlo Marino Rome, 16.08.2021, 08:51 Uhr
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Rome [ENA] Data is the new power of the sovereignty of a state. Because of the fast evolution of the technological scenario there is a new governing of the dynamics between governments and private actors. Some governments have taken advantage more heavily in technologies such as big data, 5G, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing and have already reached strategic leadership on other countries. Emerging technologies

have a decisive impact on both geopolitical and economic ecosystems. Investments greater than before in technologies such as 5G and artificial intelligence will generate billions in profits for private companies and governments, with repercussions on employment. 5G is likely to generate $13 trillion in global economic value and 22 million jobs by 2035, while the global market for artificial intelligence is estimated to reach $15 trillion by 2030. These figures are pushing governments of the most advanced countries to engage in a race for technological leadership. Adopting every means obtainable to achieve intellectual property related to innovative technologies and advanced projects has already begun one of the major objectives of the new

strategy of the States. The United States, China, South Korea, and Israel are some of the countries that are investing more and more in these technologies. These investments are unmistakably part of a strategy aimed at becoming the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based drivers in these technologies, in order toimpose their standards, and to take advantage of the possible growth opportunities of their private companies. The progress reached in the above technologies is already widening the gap between states. Countries in Africa and in South America are already fall behind on this point and will suffer the hegemony of those states that have mainly invested in new technologies.

The risk for these countries is that they will have no chance to choose these technologies and won’t be able to manage the large quantities of data they generate. The main players of the technological landscape are private “big tech” companies. These organizations are investing in research in “disruptive” technologies that could affect new knowledges, global market access and investment trends. If we look at the world’s largest market capitalizations we can find that tech giants like Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Alphabet and Facebook are monopolizing the market for several years.

The processing of personal data and other data in a modern society is the reason why tech giants are geopolitical players and have become de facto global stakeholders. In the past, geopolitics was governed by oil and natural gas and most of the organizations in the private sector held little influence over the global economy. Today on the contrary, high-tech new weaponry actually contributes to their economic social and geopolitical set-up and development models. The strategies of these companies already have an impact on geopolitics and influence governments’ investments in technologies and drive innovation. Moreover, tech giants are at the forefront of AI research , so much so that their technological power would overcome

any governmental research institute. The behavior of tech companies is put in question by many privacy advocates and government representatives because they hold the new political power and their operations have a huge geopolitical influence. In the last years, the US government did not push for regulatory control over the activities of US tech giants, but with the rise of Chinese tech firms, starting with the Trump administration, things have changed. The US government is now reviewing its position, fearing the market power of tech giants, especially Chinese ones.

Data is the key asset of a technological society and it is vital to regulate the way it is collected, stored, transferred, and used internationally. Today the sovereignty of the states depends on their ability to control data governance on a global scale. Regrettably, the decisional and regulatory processes of the states are slower than technological evolution. The move of geopolitical influence into the private sector is generating government responses. Some governments are increasing their collaboration with private companies by involving tech giants in new billionaire deals for the provision of strategic services. The Big Tech entities concerned have been involved in the supply of cloud services for the US Military.

A different approach, led by China, consisted in seizing direct control of tech giants through government ownership of a portion of company shares. These approaches are influencing global synergies and international relations, while government interference in private companies has led to their ban by many countries as the ban of Chinese-manufactured 5G equipment from US telco networks. Tech giants’ power will continue to increase along with their influence on global politics and the economy and a new class of politics on the global stage involving experts in emerging technologies as well as of tech giants representatives is expected to become a model in the new world order.

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