Usbek & Rica – “Technology can still play a positive and emancipatory role”

That being said, it should also be noted that the Privacy Shield [accord dans le domaine du droit de la protection des données personnelles, qui a été négocié entre 2015 et 2016 entre l’Union européenne et les États-Unis d’Amérique, ndlr] and the Safe Harbor [son prédécesseur, conçu par le gouvernement des États-Unis et conclu avec la Commission européenne en juillet 2000, ndlr] were both written very quickly, with lightness, and that they allowed an unprecedented exfiltration of European data towards the United States. In short, we have improved things with the GDPR, but it is not as if Europe is a paragon in terms of privacy protection either.

How do you view the Digital Market Act (DMA), this “ digital market legislation which aims to fight against the anti-competitive practices of internet giants, adopted in early 2022 by the EU?

A very interesting point, in the DMA, is the fact that it will force the very large technology companies to no longer block their users in a silo. What we have been defending for a long time with La Quadrature, hand in hand with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), is precisely this idea of ​​interoperability. That is to say the possibility – even the obligation – for certain actors to allow their users to communicate through platforms other than their own: someone who is on WhatsApp should be able to send a message to someone one that is on Signal, and vice versa. The same way someone on Yahoo Mail! can send an email to someone who works on the Gmail account of a large company. Today, no one would accept having to create a Gmail account to be able to send an email to someone on Outlook…

So finally having in law a concrete plan, established over a year and a half, to move towards interoperability is a major step forward. Telegram, iMessage and Instagram will become operable between them. When we know that many people want to leave Facebook but don’t do it yet because they don’t necessarily want to give up all their contacts, we know how much progress this can represent.

The back cover of the book evokes your fight for an Internet ” just, free, emancipatory and democratic “. In the era of 5G, metaverse and “technopolice”, is this horizon still credible?

This is a super interesting question, which would deserve hours and hours of debate. We, at La Quadrature, do not have a fixed position as a group: it is a question that drives us regularly, it is even a driver of our action and our reflections. Within the association, some people lean in one direction, and others in another.

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