Within DiEM25, by crowdsourcing our collective knowledge, we have identified three key ways to achieve Technological Sovereignty. We try to define the issues, and provide short, medium and long term solutions, based on two processes: Regulation and Renewal.
Regulation means that, as a society, we take a collective responsibility to shape how technological actors should act or not act. We are not afraid to use the state (at all its levels, from the local authority to the EU) for its appro-priate role of regulator, enabling and driving innovation and ensuring that not only costs, but also benefits, are shared across society. In addition, we also aim to include alternative ways of organising aspects of society such as the principle of the commons.
Renewal means that we need to innovate in the way technology and society interact. And we need to establish the conditions for social innovation and democratic societal transformation.
The first way is the establishment of a Digital Commonwealth in Europe. This includes:
Countering the power of platform monopolies by
Strengthening regulations on Data Protection (GDPR) and ePrivacy to limit involuntary data extraction;
Enforcing mandatory cross-platform-interoperability and Portability of Data;
Ensuring stronger EU antitrust laws and better enforcement; and
Introducing the concept of Data Unions for collective representation.
Building the infrastructure for a digital commonwealth by:
Opening up and democratising algorithmic Automated Decision Making (often wrongly de-noted as “artificial intelligence (AI)”) processes;
Decommodifying data through the establishment of a public data commons; o Creating a framework of digital rights for citizens; and
Supporting alternative business models to democratise economic structures, such as platform cooperatives.
The second way is for Europe to democratise innovation and ensure that knowledge is shared in such a way as to benefit as many as possible.
Reducing or abolishing monopolistic approaches to innovation, in particular around Intellectual Prop-erty; and
Ensuring that the benefits of investment in innovation are available to as many as possible, and reverse the trend of socialising costs while privatising benefits of innovation.
Third, Europe must democratise the governance of innovation and technologies. New institutions and organisa-tional forms in politics and the economy must be envisioned and put into practice. Digital technologies can help us build these.
Opening up and democratising the processes by which technological development is funded, prioritised and decided; and
Using technology to enable democratisation of decision-making processes at every level, especially to foster economic democracy.
The democratisation of technology is possible, and necessary. Technologies are never inevitable. They are always based on choices, values and social power. We can make different choices, argue for different values and change the societal processes and powers that shape technologies. Technologies that, in return, shape society, and us.