(EU) Policy — Lobbying for decent policy, for decent tech

Below are notes extracted from the etherpad for this session (held at Redecentralize 2019)

(EU) Policy — Lobbying for decent policy, for decent tech

UK law will remain mostly the same as EU law, also after Brexit. So we’ll just talk about ‘European law’.

Everyone in Brussels hates the current situation with US giants.

EU politicians just want the next giants to be EU-based.

GDPR is there. ePrivacy is stuck. EC intends legislation on ‘algorithms’.

Breaking up companies, or alternatively, forcing them to open up their APIs so companies can build further on them and provide choice. Similar with regulation for banks (PSD2). Two frequent critiques to this:

  1. It is not possible. → bullshit. Show them Mastodon, XMPP, etcetera. And even if not every feature can be decentralised, at the very least they could interoperate for easier features (e.g. messaging).
  2. It is insecure. Personal data will spread to various companies. → that’s what lobbyists say.

The network effect is the problem. Not the data.

Analogy with electricity system. Multiple companies share the network. Showing policy makers previous examples from other industries can be helpful.

Government could set a fair price, that Bookface would have to pay to connect its users to Facebook’s APIs.

Data portability and privacy: you have a right to get your data, but what about e.g. your friends’ comments to your posts? Related: Facebook whitepaper: https://redecentralize.org/redigest/2019/09#facebooks-ponderings-about-data-portability--privacy

Data portability should become more priority to companies.

Is there need for an industry lobby group, for ‘privacy-tech’ companies? (NextCloud, Qwant, etc.)

Besides legislation, we can encourage public bodies to consider using decentralised services. May also help put the things more fore-front in their minds. E.g. using Matrix for communications.

Besides regulation to open up companies / break network lock-in, do we need to lobby for public funding for protocol development? Horizon 2020 and beyond; we could try get more money to decent projects.