The IIC’s spring TMF in Brussels took place a few months into the work of the new European Commission, as Cristina Murroni reports.
The spring TMF (Telecommunications and Media Forum) took place in Brussels at the Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications (BIPT), with insights into the new European Commission (EC) and Parliament. Opening the keynote panel, Peter Linton of the European Internet Forum (EIF), argued that the regulatory frameworks for data privacy and security must be the political priorities for a knowledge society, especially since data is the main raw material of the digital economy. For Anthony Whelan of the EC’s DG Connect, digital is not just something that you deal with once and is done: it needs to be considered a highest priority to keep under watch at all times. He explained that e-commerce is the current key focus, with the digital single market strategy aiming to tear down the barriers to cross-border online sales and ensure harmonious regulation of physical goods. Indeed, the single market is ‘single’ whether digital or physical, said new MEP Roza Thun, observing that anything akin to ‘geo-blocking’ in the physical world would be regarded as discrimination. Erika Mann of Facebook turned to innovative business models, such as Skype and Spotify, which Europe has been able to create in the digital space: understanding where the talent comes from, how they connect and how they get financed may be as important as regulating.
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