GIGAEurope has called on the European Commission to make trust in technology and digital skills a key priority in its Digital Strategy. The organisation, formed out of the former Cable Europe, said the combination of its members’ high-capacity networks and 5G with the emergence of data-driven technologies like AI and IoT had created European-wide opportunities.
Its concern over a recent global trust survey that suggested trust in the technology sector has reached an all-time low. The same survey shows significant decreases in trust for AI, IoT and 5G in Europe.
Speaking at an EURACTIV-GIGAEurope event, Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice President of the European Commission said: “One of the conditions to create trust in digital technology is the availability of solid and reliable digital infrastructure. We mostly feel confident that connectivity will not let us down. That we will have access to high speed internet no matter where we are in the European Union.
“The pandemic made us all see that this is not just a technical matter, it is a matter of social inclusion. This is why the implementation of the 5G security toolbox is essential and urgent. Together with knowledge and skills, infrastructure creates a strong foundation of trust.”
GIGAEurope wants governments, industry and civil society to intensify their partnership to ensure that the next phase of technology-driven transformation is human-centred, inclusive and sustainable, and that secure, reliable connectivity is available to all Europeans by the end of the decade.
“There is a foundational, brick and mortar element to trust in digital technologies that is less prominent within tech and policy circles, but crucial to achieving the EU’s digital decade ambitions,” said Joakim Reiter, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer and Executive Committee Member, Vodafone Group and GIGAEurope Co-Chairman. He said providing fast, secure and reliable internet access helped to develop digital skills and would ultimately reduce the rural digital divide.