EU challenge Google

12 January 2006

European Information Society architects are challenging the great giant. First Galileo was announced, which hopes to remove reliance by the EU on US sattelites. Now the huge market share being enjoyed by Google is to be challenged by something more sophisticated and diverse than anything they have to offer (allegedly).

Ever since the EU's 1993 White Paper on Growth, competitiveness, and employment the fight has been on to secure a distinctly European strategy for the technology age.

Aside from the clear challenge to US companies in the search engine market, this may be significant for the diversification of lanuguage content on the web. Even if Quaero fails, any threat it poses may encourage Google and larger net publishers to focus on addressing the needs of the growing non english-speaking Internet population.

This fits in with article 4 of the declaration made at the end of the recent WSIS summit in Tunis:

    "in addition to building ICT infrastructure, there should be adequate emphasis on developing human capacity and creating ICT applications and digital content in local language, where appropriate, so as to ensure a comprehensive approach to building a global Information Society".

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals

To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.

By adding my name to this campaign, I authorise openDemocracy and Foxglove to keep me updated about their important work.

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