Takeaways from EuroDig: Will users' trust impact on transnational data flows?


  • Pearse O’Donahue, Head of Software, Services, Cloud, DG CONNECT, EC;
  • Ross LeJeunesse, Google Inc.;
  • Kathy Brown, Internet Society (ISOC);
  • Matthias Spielkamp, Algorith Watch.

Any policy related to the Internet has to take on board trust and security as key issues but without creating barriers to economic development”, explained Pearse O’Donahue, Head of Software, Services, Cloud, DG CONNECT, EC. We also need to de-mystify some common misconceptions about data location, because data stored in the cloud in different locations is actually more secure.

Benefits of digital transformation

Not many people realise that 76% of the benefits of digital transformation will be gained by traditionally non-tech companies.

Almost every kind of business therefore has an instrumental stake in how the Internet evolves. This is a key driver for engaging in a debate with commercial organisations at a much deeper level than is currently the case.

Shared responsibility

Trust ultimately comes from openness and transparency. The Internet is much more than a one-provider platform and openness needs shared responsibility. “It’s important that we figure out some basic norms about how we communicate in the digital society. The benefits outweigh the challenges, but the challenges are real”, said Kathy Brown, Internet Society.

Multi-stakeholder engagement

Multi-stakeholder dialogue is vital for building trust in the Internet and is the only way forward. We have to bring on board governments, consumers and the business community. “This is the smart and only way to build trust of users”, Ross LeJeunesse, Google Inc., key to avoiding a situation where a single stakeholder sets the agenda as the Internet continues to evolve.