Are we witnessing the birth of an exclusive digital society, courtesy of the EU's new digital ID mandate? In a world where personal data seems to be the hottest commodity, can our cherished privacy possibly survive such a regime? More on this below. Keep reading.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has announced that European Union citizens who decline to adopt digital IDs provided by the World Economic Forum (WEF) will face exclusion from various facets of society. This declaration was made during her speech at a G20 Summit session named "One Future."
Von der Leyen underlined her belief that our collective future is inherently digital, necessitating the establishment of boundaries and regulatory frameworks by global entities. She alarmingly commended the progress made by the EU in developing a pan-European digital identity app in collaboration with the WEF. This app is designed to store a wide range of personal data, including financial details, credit card information, driver's licenses, passport data, and medical records, including vaccination status.
She likened this digital identity infrastructure to the COVID-19 passport system implemented by the EU in response to the pandemic, which the World Health Organization (WHO) has subsequently endorsed as a global standard for managing health crises.
Von der Leyen acknowledged the concerns raised by these developments, particularly by individuals and nations that place a high value on free speech and privacy. In her role as EU Commission President, she also addressed the topics of artificial intelligence (AI) and the digital landscape. While recognizing the potential risks associated with AI, she also emphasized the significant opportunities it presents and the importance of harnessing this technology.
She revealed that in 2020, the EU introduced the world's first AI legislation, aimed at balancing innovation with trust. However, von der Leyen stressed that more needed to be done and proposed the adoption of a multinational approach to manage AI risks.
Furthermore, she called for the creation of globally accepted standards under the auspices of the United Nations, similar to their Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Von der Leyen argued that humanity would benefit from an international authority that could clarify the risks and benefits associated with AI, akin to the role of the IPCC in addressing climate concerns.
My Hot Take: Well, isn't it just splendid that in the quest for a digital utopia, we're being herded into a high-tech pen labeled "Exclusive Digital Society"? Who needs privacy anyway? It's not like we've been enjoying it for centuries or anything. Let's all raise a virtual toast to become data points in a grand experiment!
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