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EuroISPA welcomes the European Commission’s Communication on AI, but warns that an unbalanced ePrivacy reform might stifle innovation

EuroISPA welcomes the European Commission’s Communication on AI, but warns that an unbalanced ePrivacy reform might stifle innovation

Brussels, 25 April 2018- EuroISPA, the pan-European association of European Internet Services Providers Associations (ISPAs), representing over 2,500 ISPs across the EU and EFTA countries, welcomes the European Commission’s Communication on “Artificial Intelligence for Europe”.

The Communication sends a positive signal to European businesses, as it seeks to strike the right balance between boosting Europe’s AI industrial capacity and tackling ethical, societal, and legal challenges created by these new technologies. In this respect, EuroISPA appreciates the Commission’s engagement to establish an EU Multi-stakeholder AI Alliance which will bring together relevant players to draft an AI Ethics Guidelines.

Oliver Süme, President of EuroISPA, commented: “If the European Union wishes to emerge as a leader in the field of Artificial Intelligence vis-à-vis China and the United States, it will need to create a future-proof, innovation-friendly regulatory framework. It will be crucial to engage in an active dialogue with industry, which is investing in research and innovation in the field of AI”.

While this initiative is encouraging, EuroISPA fears that the proposed ePrivacy Regulation, currently undergoing the legislative process, together with a still unclear definition of what "AI" actually means, might compromise EU efforts to boost the European AI industry as it lacks the needed flexibility for businesses to process data and innovate.

Oliver Süme added: “We hope that current discussions on the ePrivacy Regulation will be reconciled with the bold vision that the Commission has on Artificial Intelligence, also in line with the Council Conclusions on an EU industrial policy strategy from March 2018. EuroISPA will follow with interest EU efforts in the field of the regulation of AI and stands ready to provide feedback from the European ISP industry”.

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