Home / News & Speeches / To foster digital growth, regulation needs be flexible and tech neutral, experts say

ICC gathered business experts from companies and organizations leading ICC policy work on information and communication technologies (ICTs) for the 17-18 March biannual meeting of the ICC Commission on the Digital Economy.

Whether talking about the industrial Internet, privacy, cybersecurity, Internet governance, or trade facilitation, members were clear there are significant benefits to be realized from the digital economy if governments get regulatory approaches right. Chair of the commission, Joseph Alhadeff, Chief Privacy Strategist, Vice President, Global Public Policy, Oracle Corporation, opened the meeting noting a 9% increase in membership of the Commission on the Digital Economy since October 2014, which he attributed to the cross-cutting nature of digital economy issues.

In addition to policy topics on Internet and telecoms, privacy and security, the commission is working cooperatively with ICC’s intellectual property, environment and trade policy commissions on topics spanning digital 3D printing, ICT and innovation, sustainable environment priorities, and cross-border data flows.

Mr Alhadeff said: “We continue to engage with policymakers in the EU and internationally on the need for a flexible and adaptable regulatory environment – one that focuses on what the regulatory objectives and required outcomes. ICC advises regulators to avoid ever-more detailed prescriptions of how to implement the solutions which can needlessly constrain business models and innovation. We encourage alternative approaches to constructively address concerns related to fundamental rights without stifling the benefits that of innovation in emerging technologies and business models.”

Mr Alhadeff reported on meetings held the day before in Brussels between the commission officers and the newly elected European officials. “We established some useful common ground on important issues for global business related to the Digital Single Market, the EU Data Protection Regulation and the new strategy of the European Data Protection Supervisor, he said.

ICC advises regulators to avoid ever-more detailed prescriptions of how to implement the solutions which can needlessly constrain business models and innovation.

“We also had an substantive exchange with European Commission Vice-President and Commissioner for Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip that gave us better understanding of priorities and topics of concern to ICC’s broad business membership.”

Meeting participants also got an early look at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) work on Internet of Things, when representatives provided an insightful presentation on their research and analysis of this topic, which will be the subject of a chapter in the forthcoming OECD Digital Economy Outlook 2015 and a discussion at the OECD Ministerial in 2016.

The ICC Commission on the Digital Economy develops ICC policy on digital economy issues on behalf of users, providers and operators of information technology. The next ICC Commission on the Digital Economy meeting will take place in Istanbul from 7-8 October 2015.

ICC ensures the voice of business is raised in global Internet governance discussions through ICC Business Action to Support the Information Society (BASIS). Launched in 2006 after the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society, ICC BASIS advocates policy positions prepared by the ICC Commission on the Digital Economy.

ICC Commission on the Digital Economy

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