G7 leaders agree on Strategy for an open, free and secure digital transformation

At the G7 Summit in Biarritz, France, G7 leaders have agreed on a Strategy for an open, free and secure digital transformation. The document starts by outlining the role of digital technologies in empowering individuals and communities and draws attention to the risks posed by online abuse against women, minorities and vulnerable users. Then, G7 leaders reiterate their commitment to the rights to freedom of opinion and expression, and express their determination to co-operate against ‘illicit and malign behavior and foreign hostile interference by state and non-state actors’. The strategy also tackles the issue of cross border data flows. It recognises that ‘data free flow with trust’ will facilitate digital transformation, and it outlines the need to respect national and international legal frameworks. Moreover, G7 leaders commit to cooperate to encourage interoperability of different frameworks and affirm the role of data for development. They also express agreement on the need to address the threats posed by security vulnerabilities in 5G networks and supply chains. When it comes to artificial intelligence (AI), the strategy emphasises the potential of this technology to improve the well-being of people, but also notes that it may have disparate effects on economy, privacy and data protection. G7 leaders note the need to support and guide the responsible development of AI, and agree to share research result on AI issues and best practices, as well as bring together international AI initiatives.