China issues a policy paper on the European Union that outlines possible areas of cooperation to enhance sustainable development through digital means

18 Dec 2018

On 18 December 2018, China published a policy paper on possible measures to enhance the China-EU Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and promote greater development of China-EU relations. The paper addresses issues related to the cooperation in political, security and defense fields that include the “good use of the China-EU Cyber Taskforce, jointly advocate a community with a shared future in cyberspace, promote norms for responsible State behavior in cyberspace under the UN framework, and advance the reform of the global internet governance system for a peaceful, secure, open, cooperative and orderly cyberspace.” Additionally, the paper tackles the cooperation in scientific research, innovation, emerging industries, and sustainable development through "Digital China" and the EU Digital Single Market where exchanges and cooperation between China and the EU are further required. It also refers to the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) hoping that its implementation will not affect normal business interactions between the two sides. According to the paper, cooperation on data protection between China and the EU will continue to protect personal information and the legitimate rights of citizens.

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Privacy and data protection are two interrelated Internet governance issues. Data protection is a legal mechanism that ensures privacy. Privacy is usually defined as the right of any citizen to control their own personal information and to decide about it (to disclose information or not). Privacy is a fundamental human right. It is recognised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and in many other international and regional human rights conventions. The July 2015 appointment of the first UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy in the Digital Age reflects the rising importance of privacy in global digital policy, and the recognition of the need to address privacy rights issues the the global, as well as national levels.

The impact of the Internet on businesses and the global economy has been crucial in shaping new economic models, and at the same time, raising new concerns.

The Internet is one of the primary drivers of economic growth, which is visible in many countries that have placed the development of ICT as one of the primary tools for boosting the economy.

The need for people to gain access to ICT resources and narrow the digital divide is crucial, and is especially relevant now in the light of the Sustainable Development Goals. It is also important to understand how access to the Internet affects the level of economic and social development in a country.

Cybersecurity is among the main concerns of governments, Internet users, technical and business communities. Cyberthreats and cyberattacks are on the increase, and so is the extent of the financial loss. 

Yet, when the Internet was first invented, security was not a concern for the inventors. In fact, the Internet was originally designed for use by a closed circle of (mainly) academics. Communication among its users was open.

Cybersecurity came into sharper focus with the Internet expansion beyond the circle of the Internet pioneers. The Internet reiterated the old truism that technology can be both enabling and threatening. What can be used to the advantage of society can also be used to its disadvantage.

 

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