(by Guillaume Tissier, President of CEIS)
Digital sovereignty: the more one talks about it, the less one has… Commission of inquiry at the French Senate, publications, seminars, etc: works on this subject are on the rise. This shows that France, and more generally Europe, is particularly hard at work, but also that awareness is making its way. With one pitfall: that the debate remains purely incantatory and that any excuse is good to balk at obstacles. Which security manager has not been told, when choosing an extra-European cloud solution, “You understand, we have no choice…”?
This defeatism is all the more scandalous since we can no longer say, since Snowden, that we did not know the risks. It would be good to bear this in mind when the risks related to 5G are rightly mentioned. It is no longer possible to ignore the damage done by the extraterritoriality of American law, which today covers every single field (see the recent report by French MP Raphaël Gauvain). Nor is it possible to shelter behind the principle of reality by saying that there are no alternatives. European digital trust offers are growing at a fast pace.
Of course, the dynamics is still too slow, especially because of our limited investment capacities. Of course, the European market is still too divided. Of course, we will not soon catch up with those giants that fully enjoy the network effect related to their size and play the “winner takes it all” card. But thanks to dynamic innovation, law (GDPR, e-evidence,eIDAS…), standards (such as SecNumCloud), voluntaristic diplomacy (like the Paris Call), but also to taxes (GAFA tax), France and Europe are finding room for manoeuvre, and therefore an ability to choose their digital future, or even simply their future…
This digital sovereignty must now be translated into action by a patriotic reflex that consists –for individuals, organizations and European States– in betting on European digital solutions, especially in terms of cloud computing, data hosting, security or digital identity. Our data must first and foremost create wealth here.
Guillaume Tissier, President of CEIS, co-organises the FIC since 2013.