CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly
March 29, 2020
Forward Thinking

Report: Changing technology landscape puts policy center stage

AI regulations, tech protectionism, and supply chain security top list of global tech policy issues to watch in 2020, researcher says.

Concerns about security and privacy are giving rise to efforts aimed at more closely regulating the technology landscape worldwide, according to a report from researcher Access Partnership, released this month.

The report, Tech Policy Trends in 2020, identifies the 10 most important policy trends to watch globally this year and points out themes the researchers say will recur throughout 2020. Artificial intelligence (AI) regulation, a wave of tech protectionism in Europe, and 5G security issues are at the top of the list.

"In this report, we present our view of the top ten tech policy trends to watch for in 2020," writes Access Partnership's Managing Director Greg Francis. "From AI regulation, to hardware and infrastructure, our teams explore how shifts in tech policy could disrupt life globally. While some governments seek to leverage the benefits of 5G, artificial intelligence, IoT, and data, others indulge in a desire to confront Big Tech borne by a tailwind of increased protectionism and climate urgency."

AI issues top the Access Partnership list. Researchers point to efforts by the European Union to legislate AI under the direction of new EU President Ursula von der Leyen, who took office December 1, 2019, and promised AI legislation in her first 100 days. The EU has laid out a vision of "human-centric" AI that is based on "defined ethical notions of security, privacy, and dignity," according to the report. Although the United States does not face the same time constraints and pressures as Europe, there are AI legislation initiatives underway, contributing to the "important year" ahead in both regions, the researchers said.

"2020 will be an important year for Europe and the US in forging their own approaches to AI regulation, with implications for the way transatlantic companies will conduct business on both sides of the Atlantic," according to the report. 

Other issues addressed in the report include: 

  • The Digital Services Act in Europe;
  • Tech protectionism in Europe;
  •  Supply chain security issues;
  •  Spectrum sharing issues;
  •  5G security;
  • US privacy law;
  • Data-sharing regulations; 
  • IoT regulation;
  •  The rise of 'green technology.'

The report is available via the Access Partnership website.

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