World Economic Forum: Greater regulatory supervision needed on the tech sector, says world leaders in Davos

Leaders from Japan, China, Germany, and South Africa spoke on Wednesday on the need for a governing vehicle to manage the technology sector and the use of data.

World Economic Forum Source: Bloomberg

World leaders are calling for greater supervision on the technology sector, suggesting barometers and an oversight on how data is used, while countries navigate in dealing with intricate issues such as data privacy.

Leaders from Japan, China, Germany, and South Africa spoke on Wednesday on the need for a governing vehicle to manage the technology sector and the use of data. Although there was no coordinated or structured strategy on how a global governing architecture on tech might look like, each leader spoke for their own domains and agreed that a form of governance is needed.

Worldwide governance on data, cybersecurity, needed

Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe said he will be using Japan’s chairmanship of the Group of 20 (G20) nations this year to push forward a new international system to create an oversight on how data is used.

He will attempt to push and expand on rules from the World Trade Organization to include trade in data and goods and services at the upcoming G20 event, he said.

Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel meanwhile, called for a common digital market for the European Union (EU). An international oversight on data usage must be in place to support firms who are slower to change.

Although individual countries such as China and the United States have their own way of dealing with data security, there is no global architecture now that is suitable to deal with issues on privacy and social justice, which matters to the EU, said Mrs Merkel.

China’s vice president Wang Qishan cited on a need for greater international coordination in governance on the global tech sector, but added that each country should also have the liberty to set some of their own policies on tech.

South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa also called for a greater oversight on the tech sector, with cybersecurity as a priority, and said the issue will be on the agenda when African Union leaders meet early next month in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in Africa.

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