New Interoperable Europe Act to deliver more efficient public services through improved cooperation between national administrations on data exchanges and IT solutions


Press Release: “The Commission has adopted the Interoperable Europe Act proposal and its accompanying Communication to strengthen cross-border interoperability and cooperation in the public sector across the EU. The Act will support the creation of a network of sovereign and interconnected digital public administrations and will accelerate the digital transformation of Europe’s public sector. It will help the EU and its Member States to deliver better public services to citizens and businesses, and as such, it is an essential step to achieve Europe’s digital targets for 2030 and support trusted data flows. It will also help save costs, and cross-border interoperability can lead to cost-savings between €5.5 and €6.3 million for citizens and between €5.7 and €19.2 billion for businesses dealing with public administrations…

The Interoperable Europe Act introduces:

  • A structured EU cooperation where public administrations, supported by public and private actors, come together in the framework of projects co-owned by Member States, as well as regions and cities.
  • Mandatory assessments to evaluate the impact of changes in information technology (IT) systems on cross-border interoperability in the EU.
  • The sharing and reuse of solutions, often open source, powered by an ‘Interoperable Europe Portal’ – a one-stop-shop for solutions and community cooperation.
  • Innovation and support measures, including regulatory sandboxes for policy experimentation, GovTech projects to develop and scale up solutions for reuse, and training support…(More)”.

Digital rights and principles: a digital transformation for EU citizens


Press Release: “The Commission welcomes the agreement reached yesterday with the Parliament and the Council on the European declaration on digital rights and principles. The declaration, proposed in January, establishes a clear reference point about the kind of human-centred digital transformation that the EU promotes and defends, at home and abroad.

graphic showing a circle with text Your Digital Principles and different icons with a text below the circle At the heart of Europe's digital transformation

It builds on key EU values and freedoms and will benefit all individuals and businesses. The declaration will also provide a guide for policymakers and companies when dealing with new technologies. The declaration focuses on six key areas: putting people at the centre of the digital transformation; solidarity and inclusion; freedom of choice; participation in digital life; safety and security; and sustainability…(More)” See also: European Digital Rights and Principles

Principles for Responsible Algorithmic Systems


Press Release: “The Association for Computing Machinery’s global Technology Policy Council (TPC) has released a new Statement on Principles for Responsible Algorithmic Systems authored jointly by its US (USTPC) and Europe Technology Policy Committees (Europe TPC). Recognizing that algorithmic systems are increasingly used by governments and companies to make or recommend decisions that have far-reaching effects on individuals, organizations, and society, the ACM Statement lays out nine instrumental principles intended to foster fair, accurate, and beneficial algorithmic decision-making.

The statement includes a definition for each principle as well as a brief explanation of how the principle contributes to the larger goal of building responsible algorithmic systems. The nine instrumental principles include: Legitimacy and Competency; Minimizing Harm; Security and Privacy; Transparency; Interpretability and Explainability; Maintainability; Contestability and Auditability; Accountability and Responsibility; and Limiting Environmental Impacts. The new statement complements the ACM Code of Ethics and is intended as a guide for algorithm developers and designers to remain vigilant concerning the potential for bias and unfairness at each stage of the software development process….(More)”.

Climate Action Data Trust to unify carbon credit registry data


Press Release: “The International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) today revealed information on the forthcoming launch of Climate Action Data Trust (CAD Trust), a decentralised metadata system that can link, aggregate and harmonise all major carbon market registry data.

Climate Action Data Trust (CAD Trust) is a joint initiative of the International Emissions Trading Association, The World Bank and the Singapore government, along with a variety of governments and public and private organisations. It will provide an open-source metadata system to share information about carbon credits and projects across digital platforms, easing future integration of multiple registry systems. CAD Trust uses distributed ledger technology to create a decentralised record with the aim to avoid double counting, increase trust in carbon data and enhance climate ambition.

Many countries and companies intend to use carbon markets to deliver their contributions to the Paris Climate Agreement. IETA’s review of the latest updates to Nationally Determined Contributions shows that about 80% are interested in using Article 6 trading provisions to meet their goals. To use Article 6, countries must track and report on use of international credits through a registry system. The CAD Trust system will assist in promoting high-integrity systems and digital linkages. 

The CAD Trust platform will go live in early December, when the public metadata layer will be widely available through https://climateactiondata.org. CAD Trust evolved out of the Climate Warehouse, an initiative launched by the World Bank. For the past three years, the initiative has prototyped a series of simulations of the data system with partner governments, carbon crediting programmes and other organisations. The final prototype ended in August and work is now underway to prepare the data layer to go live…(More)”.

The European Union-U.S. Data Privacy Framework


White House Fact Sheet: “Today, President Biden signed an Executive Order on Enhancing Safeguards for United States Signals Intelligence Activities (E.O.) directing the steps that the United States will take to implement the U.S. commitments under the European Union-U.S. Data Privacy Framework (EU-U.S. DPF) announced by President Biden and European Commission President von der Leyen in March of 2022. 

Transatlantic data flows are critical to enabling the $7.1 trillion EU-U.S. economic relationship.  The EU-U.S. DPF will restore an important legal basis for transatlantic data flows by addressing concerns that the Court of Justice of the European Union raised in striking down the prior EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework as a valid data transfer mechanism under EU law. 

The Executive Order bolsters an already rigorous array of privacy and civil liberties safeguards for U.S. signals intelligence activities. It also creates an independent and binding mechanism enabling individuals in qualifying states and regional economic integration organizations, as designated under the E.O., to seek redress if they believe their personal data was collected through U.S. signals intelligence in a manner that violated applicable U.S. law.

U.S. and EU companies large and small across all sectors of the economy rely upon cross-border data flows to participate in the digital economy and expand economic opportunities. The EU-U.S. DPF represents the culmination of a joint effort by the United States and the European Commission to restore trust and stability to transatlantic data flows and reflects the strength of the enduring EU-U.S. relationship based on our shared values…(More)”.

New WHO policy requires sharing of all research data


Press release: “Science and public health can benefit tremendously from sharing and reuse of health data. Sharing data allows us to have the fullest possible understanding of health challenges, to develop new solutions, and to make decisions using the best available evidence.

The Research for Health department has helped spearhead the launch of a new policy from the Science Division which covers all research undertaken by or with support from WHO. The goal is to make sure that all research data is shared equitably, ethically and efficiently. Through this policy, WHO indicates its commitment to transparency in order to reach the goal of one billion more people enjoying better health and well-being.

The WHO policy is accompanied by practical guidance to enable researchers to develop and implement a data management and sharing plan, before the research has even started. The guide provides advice on the technical, ethical and legal considerations to ensure that data, even patient data, can be shared for secondary analysis without compromising personal privacy.  Data sharing is now a requirement for research funding awarded by WHO and TDR. 

“We have seen the problems caused by the lack of data sharing on COVID-19,” said Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, WHO Chief Scientist. “When data related to research activities are shared ethically, equitably and efficiently, there are major gains for science and public health.”

The policy to share data from all research funded or conducted by WHO, and practical guidance to do so, can be found here…(More)”.

The New ADP National Employment Report


Press Release: “The new ADP National Employment Report (NER) launched today in collaboration with the Stanford Digital Economy Lab. Earlier this spring, the ADP Research Institute paused the NER in order to refine the methodology and design of the report. Part of that evolution was teaming up data scientists at the Stanford Digital Economy Lab to add a new perspective and rigor to the report. The new report uses fine-grained, high-frequency data on jobs and wages to deliver a richer and more useful analysis of the labor market.

Let’s take a look at some of the key changes with the new NER, along with the new ADP® Pay Insights Report.

It’s independent. The key change is that the new ADP NER is an independent measure of the US labor market, rather than a forecast of the BLS monthly jobs number. Jobs report and pay insights are based on anonymized and aggregated payroll data from more than 25 million US employees across 500,000 companies. The new report focuses solely on ADP’s clients and private-sector change…(More)”.

OSTP Issues Guidance to Make Federally Funded Research Freely Available Without Delay


The White House: “Today, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) updated U.S. policy guidance to make the results of taxpayer-supported research immediately available to the American public at no cost. In a memorandum to federal departments and agencies, Dr. Alondra Nelson, the head of OSTP, delivered guidance for agencies to update their public access policies as soon as possible to make publications and research funded by taxpayers publicly accessible, without an embargo or cost. All agencies will fully implement updated policies, including ending the optional 12-month embargo, no later than December 31, 2025.

This policy will likely yield significant benefits on a number of key priorities for the American people, from environmental justice to cancer breakthroughs, and from game-changing clean energy technologies to protecting civil liberties in an automated world.

For years, President Biden has been committed to delivering policy based on the best available science, and to working to ensure the American people have access to the findings of that research. “Right now, you work for years to come up with a significant breakthrough, and if you do, you get to publish a paper in one of the top journals,” said then-Vice President Biden in remarks to the American Association for Cancer Research in 2016. “For anyone to get access to that publication, they have to pay hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars to subscribe to a single journal. And here’s the kicker — the journal owns the data for a year. The taxpayers fund $5 billion a year in cancer research every year, but once it’s published, nearly all of that taxpayer-funded research sits behind walls. Tell me how this is moving the process along more rapidly.” The new public access guidance was developed with the input of multiple federal agencies over the course of this year, to enable progress on a number of Biden-Harris Administration priorities.

“When research is widely available to other researchers and the public, it can save lives, provide policymakers with the tools to make critical decisions, and drive more equitable outcomes across every sector of society,” said Dr. Alondra Nelson, head of OSTP. “The American people fund tens of billions of dollars of cutting-edge research annually. There should be no delay or barrier between the American public and the returns on their investments in research.”..(More)“.

Who Is Falling for Fake News?


Article by Angie Basiouny: “People who read fake news online aren’t doomed to fall into a deep echo chamber where the only sound they hear is their own ideology, according to a revealing new study from Wharton.

Surprisingly, readers who regularly browse fake news stories served up by social media algorithms are more likely to diversify their news diet by seeking out mainstream sources. These well-rounded news junkies make up more than 97% of online readers, compared with the scant 2.8% who consume online fake news exclusively.

“We find that these echo chambers that people worry about are very shallow. This idea that the internet is creating an echo chamber is just not holding out to be true,” said Senthil Veeraraghavan, a Wharton professor of operations, information and decisions.

Veeraraghavan is co-author of the paper, “Does Fake News Create Echo Chambers?” It was also written by Ken Moon, Wharton professor of operations, information and decisions, and Jiding Zhang, an assistant operations management professor at New York University Shanghai who earned her doctorate at Wharton.

The study, which examined the browsing activity of nearly 31,000 households during 2017, offers empirical evidence that goes against popular beliefs about echo chambers. While echo chambers certainly are dark and dangerous places, they aren’t metaphorical black holes that suck in every person who reads an article about, say, Obama birtherism theory or conspiracies about COVID-19 vaccines. The study found that households exposed to fake news actually increase their exposure to mainstream news by 9.1%.

“We were surprised, although we were very aware going in that there was much that we did not know,” Moon said. “One thing we wanted to see is how much fake news is out there. How do we figure out what’s fake and what’s not, and who is producing the fake news and why? The economic structure of that matters from a business perspective.”…(More)”

EU digital diplomacy: Council agrees a more concerted European approach to the challenges posed by new digital technologies


Press Release: “The Council today approved conclusions on EU digital diplomacy.

Digital technologies have brought new opportunities and risks into the lives of EU citizens and people around the globe. They have also become key competitive parameters that can shift the geopolitical balance of power. The EU has a growing web of digital alliances and partnerships around the world. It is increasingly investing in digital infrastructure and, under the Global Gateway strategy, in supporting partners in defining their regulatory approach to technology based on a human-centric approach.

Against this background, the Council invites all relevant parties to ensure that digital diplomacy becomes a core component and an integral part of the EU external action, and is closely coordinated with other EU external policies on cyber and countering hybrid threats, including foreign information manipulation and interference.

In this context, to enhance the EU’s Digital Diplomacy in and with the US, the EU will soon open a dedicated office in San Francisco, a global centre for digital technology and innovation.

The conclusions stress the importance of capacity building and the strategic promotion of technological solutions and regulatory frameworks that respect democratic values and human rights.

For this reason, the EU will actively promote universal human rights and fundamental freedoms, the rule of law and democratic principles in the digital space and advance a human-centric approach to digital technologies in relevant multilateral fora and other platforms, promoting partnerships and coalitions with like-minded countries and strengthening cooperation in and with the UN system, the G7, the OSCE, the OECD, the WTO, NATO, the Council of Europe and other multilateral fora, striving to match the progress achieved with the EU’s Green Diplomacy and Cyber Diplomacy…(More)”