Paul van Gerven is an editor at Bits&Chips.

Opinion

Europe’s AI business model

Leestijd: 3 minuten

For many of us, complying with last year’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR, better known as AVG in Dutch) was more of a nuisance than anything else. Websites needed to be changed, access rights had to be restricted on office networks and servers and certain data had to be walled off. Because someone could, theoretically, gain access to the readership database, one poor editor had to start locking his computer every time he left his desk for more than a couple of seconds.

Only recently, I’ve begun to realize that the GDPR may have been worth the trouble, though. Well, maybe not the particular set of regulations as such, but the sort of thinking that’s behind it. It could be the stepping stone that gives consumers back their online privacy, but more importantly: it may give the European tech industry a much-needed boost.

When it comes to internet technology, Europe has basically become a colony of the American techpire. Enthusiastically we embraced the social media, search engines, video services and e-commerce that Silicon Valley brought to our shores. Even now that the dark side of Web 2.0 has come to light, we keep giving away our data. For all but the most principled users, the services on offer are simply too good to pass up.

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