On December 10, 2015, The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) hosted the Brussels Young Transatlantic Network (YTN) for a discussion on maximizing gains and minimizing risks from networked digital technologies. The event was moderated by Danielle Piatkiewicz, program assistant, Wider Atlantic program and the Discussants Tim Ridout and Guillaume Xavier-Bender, transatlantic fellows at GMF, approached the subject by giving both U.S. and EU’s perspectives on the digital technologies and how governments strike a balance between privacy, security, and prosperity while stimulating growth and innovation.
The discussion revolved around the ongoing debates on both sides of the Atlantic regarding the new digital technologies and the advantages and drawbacks of the network. The domestic American debate is currently dominated and shaped by the question of encryption of information while in Europe the discussion focuses more on the civilians’ aspects such as privacy and data protection.
Both the speakers highlighted the importance of further coordinated regulatory frameworks provided that these regulations do not hold back on the innovation process and the creation of new technologies. In this regard, there is a need for a much more engaged political discussion in Europe in order to control and protect new technologies.
The discussion was followed by a question and answer session which touched on a number of issues and challenges such as the social impact of technology, the use of technologies from individuals, and growing differences between the Atlantic when it comes to adapting to new digital technologies.