Wanner Reports on OECD Digital Economy Policy Meetings

The 91st Session of the OECD Committee on Digital Economy Policy (CDEP), which convened May 10-11, featured substantively rich discussions on various topics of interest and concern to USCIB members, according to USCIB VP for ICT Policy Barbara Wanner, who was on the ground in Paris covering the meetings as part of a Business at OECD delegation.

Topics included the launch of the Global Forum on Technology (GFT) under theme “Shaping Our Future at the Tech Frontier,” the AI Governance Working Party’s future work on generative AI, and the OECD’s potential role in taking forward the G7’s call for the Institutional Arrangement for Partnership (IAP) to operationalize the Data Free Flows with Trust (DFFT) concept, among other topics.

“A high point of the meeting was a presentation by Japan about the Ministerial Declaration of the G7 Digital and Tech Ministers issued on April 30,” said Wanner. “The Declaration calls for establishing the IAP to bring governments and stakeholders together to operationalize the DFFT through principles-based, solutions-oriented, evidence-based, multistakeholder and cross-sectoral cooperation.”

“The Declaration is an important foundation for operationalizing data free flow with trust and other bilateral/multilateral agreements to further trusted cloud environments, but there is more work to be done to unlock the full potential of digitization,” added Wanner.

Regarding the next GFT, Israel announced it will host the meeting on November 27 in Tel Aviv. The theme will be “Challenges Posed by Quantum Technologies and National Strategies for Emerging Technologies.” This will be followed by the 92nd OECD CDEP meeting, November 28-29, also in Tel Aviv.

According to Wanner, Business at OECD commended the work done to date in launching the GFT. BIAC also reiterated its interest in making meaningful contributions to the GFT, noting that more than 60 percent of investment in new technologies is from the private sector.

Other topics addressed at CDEP that are of interest to USCIB members included, Transparency Reporting on Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (CSEA), a draft outline for a report on “Human rights in the digital age: shaping a human-centric digital transformation,” financing broadband networks of the future, identifying common guideposts for identifying AI risks and developing a comprehensive roadmap on generative AI.

Business at OECD further noted the relevance of its May 9 workshop on “Privacy, Immersive Technologies, and the Metaverse,” which is part of a project dedicated to exploring the implications of immersive technologies on for the OECD Privacy Guidelines and urged that this work be fed into the GFT process. The USCIB Foundation has been supporting this project.

Finally, the CDEP Secretariat announced the appointment of Jerrard Sheehan as new director of the OECD Science, Technology, and Innovation Bureau (STI). Sheehan, who succeeds Andrew Wyckhoff, will begin July 10, 2023. He is currently Deputy Director for Policy and External Affairs at the National Library of Medicine at the U.S. National Institutes of Health and will bring more than 30 years of experience in policy development, scientific data, and information technology.

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