France plans broad consultation ahead of new comms law

Sunday 16 March 2014 | 16:36 CET | News

In a French newspaper interview, digital economy minister Fleur Pellerin gave the main lines of a new digital law whose groundwork will be prepared in the upcoming weeks. The national digital council will organise a very large public consultation lasting until the middle of the year, ahead of the drafting of the bill. The bill is intended to bring together various provisions on innovation, business development, and a section on confidence in the internet, through new rights and protections for internet users.

The proposed law will be an opportunity for public debate on questions such as personal data and the explosion of “big data”. It will have to find a subtle balance between protecting citizens’ privacy and supporting innovation, to not establish a framework that is unfavourable to French businesses vis-a-vis to businesses elsewhere in Europe or outside Europe. The minister cites French companies Criteo and Millemercis as examples of successful French medium sized companies that should not be fragilised by the new legislation.

She reiterated the government’s wish to establish a “Startup Republic” where citizens understand that the internet concerns everyone, not only geeks or adolescents. Pellerin said she would like to see the internet, startups and innovation celebrated throughout France on the weekend of 13-15 June, on the model of the country’s heritage days.

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