Protection of our Data

Proposal 23

Organize public debates whether or to what extent to authorise digital innovations led by scientists with biomedical expertise and who are free from conflicts of interest: appoint new ethics committee or expand EGE's activities.

Detailed explanation

Digital technologies, especially 5G in conjunction with the Internet of Things and of Bodies, can lead to uses that are contrary to respect for human dignity and life in society.

The European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE, whose role is defined by Article 2 of Commission Decision 2016/835) does not seem to us to be mobilizable because its activity is focused on biotechnology issues. Moreover, its status is not integrated into the constituent treaties of the European Union or into the legislative structures of the European Union.

We call for the creation of a body that brings together scientists and representatives of different schools of thought, elected in complete independence from business circles and governments. This body would be responsible for creating the conditions for a public debate before any major technology is introduced, and for preparing decisions to be validated by referenda.

The European people have not been asked whether they prefer cable or wireless digitalization and in particular they were not involved in the pros and cons of wireless rollout.

With regard to digital innovations, this committee will concern consumers and the impact on their entire living environment, including in particular their consumption. We can therefore rely on Article 169 (point 2b) of the TFEU, which allows measures to be taken to supplement or monitor consumer protection policy in the EU.

Parliamentary Assembly Resolution 1815 in point 8.5.8. states: "promote pluralist and contradictory debates between all stakeholders, including civil society".

The European Economic and Social Committee has published the Opinion called Secure 5G deployment– EU toolbox. Points 1.10 and 4.11 state that:
"The Commission, the EP, the Council and the governments and parliaments of the Member States should provide a democratic framework for consultation, where scientific or technological issues, legal guarantees and the responses of the relevant institutions to questions from civil society can be presented to the public."

Presently, these debates are in the hands of activist groups and a few political parties doing the job that official institutes should do. E.g. in Germany, the Ecological Democratic Party has set up a taskforce on Mobile Communications, which calls for a design that is compatible with health and the environment and complies with data protection laws.

(Updated in August 2022: French court rules in favor of anti-5G groups, arguing licenses were issued without public consultation. In the ruling, the court granted an annulment of the spectrum use requested by PRIARTEM and Agir pour l'environnement, because of a lack of public consultation.)

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