The new European Commission President puts forward her political priorities on technology
Ursula von der Leyen’s vision in the area of technology is to grasp the opportunities within safe and ethical boundaries. Her strategic agenda includes:
- putting forward legislation for a coordinated European approach on the human and ethical implications of AI
- developing joint standards for 5G networks
- investing in blockchain, high-performance computing, quantum computing, algorithms and tools to allow data sharing and data usage as well as defining standards for this new generation of technologies
- implementing a new Digital Services Act to upgrade liability and safety rules for digital platforms, services and products, and complete Digital Single Market
- establishing a joint cybersecurity unit
ESMA Report looks into licensing regime for FinTech business models in EU
In its report on the status of licensing of fintech firms across the EU, ESMA concluded that currently most innovative business models using financial technology can operate within the existing EU rules. Consequently, for the time being, ESMA does not put forward additional recommendations to the EC for changes to the EU financial services legislation.
However, the report points out that crypto-assets, initial coin offerings, and distributed ledger technology are “the primary area where regulatory gaps and issues have been identified by national competent authorities and where fintech firms do not fit neatly within the existing rules”. In this respect, the national authorities called for more clarity at the EU level regarding the definition of financial instruments and the legal nature of crypto-assets, according to the report. Read more
Bruno Le Maire proposes to consider creating a public cryptocurrency
Facebook’s announcement to launch a new digital currency – Libra project – has raised red flags among regulators, politicians, central bankers and data protection officials. The main concerns relate to privacy, the risks of money laundering, terrorist financing, tax evasion and disruption to financial stability.
For example, the French finance minister Bruno Le Maire has openly rejected the Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency as such that could undermine the monetary sovereignty of states and could result in systemic risks. He has suggested to create a public cryptocurrency “I propose that we start thinking about a public digital currency issued by central banks that would guarantee the total security of transactions, their speed, simplicity and free of charge”.
The ICO Guidance for small businesses and organisations to comply with data protection after a no-deal Brexit
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the UK’s data protection authority, has published guidelines for SMEs in the event of a no-deal Brexit, urging businesses to “prepare for all scenarios”. “In the event of ‘no deal’, EU law will require additional measures to be put in place when personal data is transferred from the European Economic Area (EEA) to the UK, in order to make them lawful.” Read more