TechUK calls for G20 focus on digital

Global leaders have been urged to ensure that data protection and cyber security measures still encourage innovation in the tech sector, ahead of this year’s G20 summit.

G20 leaders should work to promote meaningful consultation with private sector on cyber security – Photo credit: Pixabay

The representative body for the tech industry in the UK, TechUK, has released a position paper with a number of  global technology bodies and associations, which sets out seven priorities for the governments making up the G20.

It said: “The G20 is a critically important setting for the world’s leading governments to outline approaches to managing 21st century ICT policy challenges, combating protectionism, achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and growing the global economy in ways that benefit all countries and people.”

Among the areas is a call for governments to make sure that any data protection policies promote innovation and international interoperability, while saying that governments must “acknowledge that privacy is a fundamental right”.

The document also calls for governments to make sure that cyber security measures ”avoid prescribed technology standards” and incorporate “meaningful” consultation with the private sector.

This latter point is also picked up separately, with the tech associations saying that governments should be more transparent with industry and other stakeholders, for instance through advanced notice of – and opportunity to comment on – draft laws, regulations and other measures affecting ICT.

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In addition, governments are told to use “global, voluntary, industry-led standards” and ensure that any technical regulations do not mandate the “transfer, disclosure, or use of technologies, production processes, development methods, or other proprietary information as a condition for doing business”.

Other priorities for governments include promoting the principle that economies should “facilitate the free flow of data across borders and refrain from imposing measures” that require local storage or processing of data, or the use of local facilities, hardware or services.

The document added that such measures should be subject only to “narrowly-tailored public interest exceptions”.

Finally, it calls for more work to be done on increasing digital skills in people of all ages so they can make the most of the opportunities offered by the growing use of technology, and for work to resolve outstanding issues about cross-border taxation.

Signatories include the Australian Information Industry Association, the Korea Electronics Association, the Information Technology Association of Canada and DigitalEurope, as well as TechUK.

In a statement, Charlotte Holloway, policy director at techUK, said it was “great” that the UK tech community was working with so many international bodies on “making the case for digitally-driven inclusive growth”.

She said: “Many of the challenges faced by tech companies and governments alike require multilateral solutions to global issues – from cross-border data flows to helping domestic populations acquire new digital skills to having strong cyber security practices by default.

“We hope these recommendations are heeded by G20 policy-makers and can play a role in shaping a positive digital future.”


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