“As part of these efforts, the European Commission is working on a number of digital rules aimed at making it easier for European companies to stand toe-to-toe with their international rivals. Its efforts include plans to overhaul the region’s data protection laws, copyright legislation and sales tax regime so that digital companies from Portugal to Poland can become pan-European businesses that can compete with the likes of Alibaba of China.”
via Tough Talk From European Commissioner About U.S. Tech Companies – NYTimes.com.
It’s unfortunate that the EU seeks to use regulation as its principal mechanism for competing with U.S. technology companies. This approach will only hobble U.S. companies’ ability to deliver innovative goods to EU consumers. It will not foster job creation or otherwise improve its economy. Job creation requires prudent fiscal policy, capital spending, and investment in the workforce (e.g., education, training). Data protection law should not be used as an economic weapon. It should be focused on protecting human rights (as defined by the EU) of EU citizens. I worry that Europe is in danger of losing sight of the importance of jobs to its citizens.