Is Europe ready for the new challenges posed by digital technologies?
Technology today is everywhere around us, making our lives easier in countless ways. In the digital economy, a new pair of shoes is just a tap of a finger away. You can organise a car or train journey by asking Alexa or Siri, and take your favourite music or TV series along for the ride. Meanwhile, governments around the world are making use of the sensors, actuators and other opportunities offered by smart technologies to streamline city life and respond swiftly and effectively to societal challenges.
Yet, at the same time, these inventions, and how society applies them, present new challenges. What if the algorithms supporting today’s digital platforms and the government discriminate against certain individuals? What if a self-driving car causes an accident? And, as companies and governments harvest more and more of our personal data, how can we trust that our privacy is fully protected? What are the risks of using digital technologies for the rule of law and values such as accountability, transparency, checks and balances, access to justice, procedural fairness and fundamental rights? And are our laws up to date, or do we need new ones?