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For Trustworthy and Human-Centric Innovation for All

Digitalization is one of the strongest growth drivers for modern economies, closely integrated into a global digital ecosystem. Currently, a political and value-based discourse is taking place on how and whether the digital economy should be further regulated. To bring this discussion on a future-proofed and value-based ground, the B7 has formulated recommendations for key principles including trustworthy data economy, semiconductors, cyber resilience and the cooperation of technology standards.

In the past decades, the process of digitalization has broken down geographical barriers. The increasing reliance on cloud services to manage data across virtually every sector of the economy requires an increasing need for a balanced approach to regulation to ensure a trustworthy data economy. Reliable data infrastructures and cloud-based solutions will define the success of data-driven ecosystems and the capacity for innovation in modern societies. For this reason, we need to ensure a free cross-border data exchange as it permits companies to access the global market.

The B7 asks the G7 governments to provide sustainable legal certainty for the use and exchange of data across borders, as well as a clear commitment against unjustified forced data localization requirements.

Next Step: Strategic and Open Semiconductor Policy

Few industrial sectors are as critical to our modern economies as the semiconductor industry. Semiconductors are found in virtually every technical product, from automobiles to smart home appliances. Hence, a reliable supply of chips is vital for economic success and stability. At the same time, the semiconductor value chain is one of the most globally intertwined. No single state holds complete autonomy of all steps of the value chain. Rather, there is a high degree of mutual interdependency between nations and regions.

Due to this global character of the semiconductor ecosystem, efforts to strengthen the semiconductor industry among the G7 nations and with close allies and partners should be coordinated and complementary to each other to support the entire value chain. Further, the B7 advocates developing common strategies with business to secure the semiconductor supply chain of all relevant categories of semiconductors, including semiconductor equipment, materials, and raw materials by identifying bottlenecks in the value chain.

The Framework: Cybersecurity

Increasingly complex cyberattacks against governments and commercial entities represent a growing risk to business processes. Phishing, malware infection and theft of precious business data attacks have so far commonly been used by malicious actors and criminals. Cyber-resilience is a basis for trust in digitalization.

At the same time, cybersecurity remains a continuous process of all actors of the society, public entities, companies and citizens.  While businesses are being regulated to certain cybersecurity standards and invest significant financial and human capital resources in cybersecurity, governments must also commit to adequate cybersecurity practices and risk management by promoting responsible state behavior in cyberspace internationally. G7 governments must commit to promptly informing companies about vulnerabilities in ICT products and solutions known to them. If government authorities hold back such highly relevant information in order to potentially exploit them for intelligence operations, they play into the hands of cybercriminals or malicious third parties. The G7 must also strengthen cryptography worldwide without “backdoors” or “master keys.” Their mere existence would significantly weaken the protective effect of cryptography as cybercriminals could exploit backdoors or might even get hold of such “master keys.”

Outlook: Cooperative Technology Standards

The question of standardization is strategically important given that standard-setters will have competitive advantages. Against this background, the B7 sees a need to establish an approach for cooperation and coordination in critical and emerging technology standards, such as AI, semiconductors, telecommunication networks, cybersecurity, and cloud and data governance.

Market-driven and consensus-based international standards are therefore crucial for creating common grounds on innovative key technology areas. In order to avoid misuse of standardization, a due process, robust intellectual property protections, and transparency in standardization bodies must be ensured. The approach proposed under the WTO/TBT Treaty, as well as many other international trade facilitation agreements, consists of adopting international standards into national sets of standards. The B7 is convinced that the G7 states should adhere to this approach.