Barely mentioned in the presidential campaign, new technologies are creating growth. Advice to future policy makers.
Let us open an open door: new technologies (digital, what!) Are so much part of our daily lives that we do not talk about them in the presidential campaign, or too little. It is true that this campaign with twists does not focus on the substantive subjects, and yet, if there is indeed a theme that deserves a little attention, or even firm positions, it is the digital !
Digital accounts for 5.5% of French GDP and contributes to one quarter of French growth, according to a study by McKinsey in 2015. France could even increase its GDP by 80 billion dollars by 2020 According to a recent Accenture study. Heavy, then. However, at the time when Francois Hollande’s five-year term ends, the result is bitter. The one who wanted to embody both the extension of civil liberties and the modernization of our society through the development of digital seems to have taken the opposite of its commitments. The past five years have witnessed the adoption of a series of security laws that the Left would surely have described as liberticides if it had been in opposition. The context of the attacks has dragged Parliament in favor of widespread censorship of the Web. If gains are illusory in terms of security, the loss in terms of respect for privacy and confidence in digital services is proven. Controllable, unnecessarily expensive, the blocking of contents inciting hatred or apology for terrorism is not a lasting solution.
Moreover, the cornerstone of the government’s agenda was the draft law on the digital Republic, announced as the French “Habeas corpus digital” . Anticipating future European texts, stumbling on obsolete considerations of digital sovereignty, this catch-all text has especially marked the minds by its lack of coherence and ambition. Several aspects of this law will have to be fully resumed at the beginning of 2017 in order to comply with European law.
A good opportunity was missed to get the messages that were expected. Why would not the digital industry join luxury, gastronomy, aeronautics, champagne or weapons … as an example of French know-how? Because we leave, in the general indifference, the fundamental principles that govern the Internet to be nibbled. On the offensive, always the same. Interest groups that oppose the philosophy of the network itself; Its opening; Its neutrality. As a reminder to our future political leaders, there are three essential points. 1) In the digital race, France and Europe have lagged behind: Europe holds only 2% of the global capitalization of Internet companies, according to the Digital New Deal Foundation. Imagine for France alone … and it is not by re-launching each year the competition Lepine of tax innovation to the detriment of digital services that we reverse the trend. 2) Responding to the terrorist threat by abandoning our principles in open campaigns and sabotaging the trust placed on the actors of the Web is not a solution. Only a pedagogical approach and the development of viral counter-narratives on the Internet will be able to restore that confidence and stifle both hate speech and fake news. 3) Keep in mind that digital is naturally at the service of culture and our content industry to make them radiate throughout the world. Containers and contents are allies.
This dangerous partition that is played in France must end with the risk of slowing down the only sector capable of sustaining growth. In this period of uncertainty, France has every reason to believe in its digital future, but it must have the means to do so. Who will raise the glove? For the time being, candidates’ responses to campaigns are not up to scratch