G7 tech leaders approve bold new proposals to boost online security around the world
- Declaration signed at the digital and technology ministerial meeting ahead of the G7 leaders’ summit in June
- Principles for improving online safety include commitments on human rights and the protection of young people
- Roadmap to digitize an obsolete paper system for global trade, among other agreements
Leaders from the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, US and EU signed a declaration containing a set of common principles on how to meet the challenge global online security, especially that online businesses should have systems and processes in place. reduce illegal and harmful activities and prioritize the protection of children.
The principles, which have been shaped by the UK’s cutting-edge approach, say that any action to improve online safety must support the values of open and democratic societies and respect human rights and fundamental freedoms .
The joint ministerial declaration was signed at a virtual meeting hosted by UK Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden to set this year’s G7 summit on fire. The agreements are part of the first of seven ministerial declarations due to be signed this year.
Other measures include plans to boost exports by digitizing the cumbersome and centuries-old paper system for major international business transactions and improving the free flow of data.
In a sign of enhanced cooperation to address concerns about the market power of large tech platforms, international regulators and policymakers will meet with the UK Competition and Markets Authority in the fall to discuss coordination and long-term application.
Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said:
As a coalition of the world’s leading democracies and technological powers, we want to forge a compelling vision of how technology should support and improve open and democratic societies in the digital age.
Together, we have agreed on a number of priorities in areas ranging from internet security to digital competition to ensure that the digital revolution is a democratic revolution that improves global prosperity for all.
The G7 Digital and Technology Ministerial is the culmination of ongoing discussions and negotiations around a number of priority areas and in the Ministerial Declaration released today, G7 member states agreed to:
Internet security principles to guide work to improve online security. G7 countries are committed to protecting human rights online and agree that tech companies have a corporate responsibility for the safety of their users. This means that they must have systems and processes in place to reduce illegal and harmful activity and prioritize the protection of children. These are based on the underlying principles of the UK Government’s Online Damage White Paper.
Develop a framework for the use of electronic transferable documents, to remove legal barriers and coordinate national reforms so that businesses can use digital solutions for shipping goods and trade finance – replacing slow paper transactions and obsolete.
A consensus that a more common approach to regulating and promoting competition in digital markets is needed to better serve consumers and businesses. Regulators have agreed to meet in the fall to further discuss these issues.
Cooperation to seize the opportunities and benefits of the free flow of data with confidence for people, businesses and economies. The G7 will gather evidence on the impacts of data localization, encourage regulatory cooperation and accelerate the development of best practice approaches for data sharing across a wider set of priority areas. These areas may include transport, science and research, education, and natural disaster mitigation.
Collaboration on how democratic governments and stakeholders can support the development of digital technical standards that online tools, services and protocols should measure and which, among other things, will guide the development of a free, open and secure Internet.
For the first time, the G7 also discussed the importance of promoting security and resilience in critical digital infrastructure, especially in telecommunications, including 5G and future communications technologies. In the declaration, the G7 countries pledge to develop their collaboration on this subject throughout the year.
Building on the momentum of this G7 digital and tech track, the UK will also host the Future Tech Forum in September. The Forum will bring together like-minded democratic partners to discuss the role of technology in supporting open societies and addressing global challenges, working with industry, academia and other key stakeholders.
As is the tradition for the host country to showcase its culture, during the two days of the ministerial track (April 28 – 29), G7 ministers and guests will attend performances by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and the National theater. These organizations, and more than 5,000 others, have benefited from the unprecedented £ 1.57 billion fund for cultural restoration.
Notes to Editors:
The talks came after the digital secretary held separate talks with his U.S. counterparts yesterday to stress the importance of global collaboration to protect people online and to spur international debate in this area.
The UK is already leading the way internationally with domestic work in priority areas:
In the coming months, Britain will become one of the first countries in the world to introduce legislation that will require social media companies to report on tackling a full spectrum of harm on their platforms.
Last month, the government unveiled a pioneering pro-competition digital marketplace unit to help ensure tech giants can’t exploit their market dominance to oust competition and stifle innovation online. Given the increasingly borderless nature of digital markets, the G7’s support for this new pro-competitive approach is an important step forward in tackling the problem globally.
As part of plans to build back better from the pandemic and improve communities, the UK is working with international partners to promote the flow of data across borders. It uses its independent powers to deepen its strategic international relations and ensure that trade agreements include cutting-edge data provisions that reduce barriers to trade and promote data protection standards. The government has concluded such an agreement with Japan which entered into force on January 1, 2021 which removes obstacles to the free flow of data, including on the location of data, and commits both parties to a legal framework protecting information. personal information of e-commerce users.
The UK government is advancing its £ 250million diversification strategy to drive innovation in the domestic telecommunications market and reduce reliance on a small number of 5G equipment providers.
Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden recently outlined his ten technology priorities, including leading the global conversation on technology, keeping the UK safe online and promoting free and fair digital commerce.
The government also released its groundbreaking integrated defense and security review last month, setting the goal of consolidating the UK’s position as a responsible and democratic cyberpower.
More information on electronic transferable documents:
The International Chamber of Commerce estimates that 99% of business transactions remain on paper, generating 25 billion documents annually for container transport alone. The Digital Container Shipping Association estimates that if 50% of container shipping transactions are digitized, it could save $ 4 billion a year globally by 2030.
Transferable documents, such as bills of lading, warehouse receipts or promissory notes, are documents that dominate international trade and trade finance and that were developed from medieval trading customs to ensure consistency beyond borders. In the UK, a mix of common law and legislative rules prevents the transition from paper to digital, with the Bills of Exchange Act 1882 and the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1992 being obvious barriers.
Enabling businesses to use electronic transferable documents will generate efficiencies in terms of time, security or data processing, as well as economic savings. This will strengthen the resilience of our global economic system and play a crucial role in the resumption of trade across the G7.
There is clearly work to be done to develop a national legislative solution. The UK government is reforming UK laws for the digital age and has asked the Law Commission to make recommendations to remove legal barriers to the use of electronic transferable documents. This research project is ongoing and we anticipate that a consultation report will be published shortly.
In addition, it is important to remember that these are international documents and it is vital for the private sector that these legal documents continue to meet business expectations around the world. This means the UK must work to socialize these reforms in international fora, promote interoperability between systems and datasets, and encourage regulators to meet and cooperate on relevant issues, such as protection Datas.
Our G7 political agenda is the subject of negotiations with our partners via ministerial tracks and the Sherpa network, both in preparation for and after the Summit. The other ministerial strands of the G7 include:
- The finance track
- The foreign affairs and development track
- The health track
- The climate and environment track
- The indoor track
The commercial track
- More information on the G7 is available on the G7 website.
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