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Monday, October 4, 2021

Digital Economy Report 2021. Rapport de l’UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development).

Les Nations Unies viennent de publier un rapport sur l’importance de la prise en compte des flux internationaux de données, appelant à une coordination internationale des règles, dans un monde qui est pour l’instant essentiellement dominé par des intérêts particuliers, nationaux, éventuellement régionaux, mais peu propices à favoriser une économie planétaire autour du numérique, qui soit profitable au plus grand nombre : "The current landscape is a patchwork of national regulations based on objectives on economic development, protection of privacy, and other human rights and national security concerns" ; "The current fragmented data landscape risks us failing to capture value that could accrue from digital technologies and it may create more space for substantial harms related to privacy breaches, cyberattacks and other risks"

Pour les auteurs de ce rapport une approche globale (« holistic ») s’avère indispensable, la seule qui permette la prise en compte des intérêts de chacun et une juste répartition des ressources. “Data are multidimensional, and their use has implications not just for trade and economic development but also for human rights, peace and security. Responses are also needed to mitigate the risk of abuse and misuse of data by States, non-State actors or the private sector"

Les données sont en effet un produit essentiel, au cœur de nos sociétés numériques, mais manquent pourtant encore de véritables politiques de gestion internationale des dites ressources : "The particular characteristics of data suggest that they need to be treated differently from conventional goods and services, including in their international transfers. In the new context of the data-driven digital economy, concepts such as ownership and sovereignty are being challenged. Rather than trying to determine who “owns” the data, what matters is who has the right to access, control and use the data". 

En s’appuyant sur des sources diverses, le rapport propose à la fois statistiques et constats sur l’état de l’Internet. Nous n’en retiendrons ici que quelques uns: 

- “Available information also suggests that international bandwidth use accelerated during the pandemic, and that such traffic is geographically concentrated in two main routes: between North America and Europe, and between North America and Asia.” 

- "Only 20 per cent of people in least developed countries (LDCs) use the Internet; when they do, it is typically at relatively low download speeds and with a relatively high price tag attached.” 

- "In terms of capacity to engage in and benefit from the data-driven digital economy, two countries stand out: the United States and China. Together, they account for half the world’s hyperscale data centres, the highest rates of 5G adoption in the world, 94 per cent of all funding of AI start-ups in the past five years, 70 per cent of the world’s top AI researchers, and almost 90 per cent of the market capitalization of the world’s largest digital platforms". 

- “despite its free market focus, the United States has taken steps towards restricting some foreign data-driven companies from entering its market, and banning related domestic data outflows. Meanwhile, China is hinting towards some openness to data flows. The final outcome is hard to predict" . 

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