This debate has been held ever since the internet became ‘a thing’ for the average European citizen. Previous attempts at establishing a home-grown behemoth to challenge FAGA et al in the US (and maybe Alibaba, Weibo…) have failed. Unless the EU can establish some kind of benign walled garden for European tech without falling into a trade war then I can’t see this conversation developing into action…:
U.S. tech firms could face new challenges in Europe amid a growing debate about data privacy and security.
Some European leaders across the 28-member bloc are voicing concerns about the reliance on American and Chinese tech companies for storing data. Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany said last week that many European companies have outsourced their data to U.S. firms. As a result, she argued that Europe should claim “digital sovereignty” by developing its own data platform and thus reducing the dependence on companies such as Google and Microsoft for their cloud services.
In France, President Emmanuel Macron has expressed similar worries. He told The Economist last month that if nothing changes in Europe “in 10 years’ time, no one will be able to guarantee the technological soundness of your cyber-systems, no one will be able to guarantee who processes the data, and how, of citizens or companies”.
Digital sovereignty encompasses the idea that users, being citizens or companies, have control over their data. According to Andrea Renda, senior fellow at the think tank CEPS, about 94% of data in the Western world is stored in the U.S.