Silicon Valley is embracing EU's leadership in data protection and privacy, say S&D MEPs

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A delegation of S&D MEPs travelled to the United States this week to meet leading digital and hi-tech players in Silicon Valley, and to discuss how best to meet the challenges and opportunities of the new digital environment.
 
MEPs Josef Weidenholzer, Maria Grapini, and Tiemo Wölken held open and critical discussions with Uber, Mozilla, Facebook, Google, Apple, and SAP, as well as with Wikipedia and the advocacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation. They addressed topics including fake news and hate speech; digital privacy and fundamental rights; artificial Intelligence in the context of controls, safeguards and regulation, and digital taxation. 
 
MEPs Josef Weidenholzer, Maria Grapini, and Tiemo Wölken said:
 
“We welcome the digital companies' recognition of the key role of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It seems clear that Silicon Valley is embracing the EU's leadership on this essential topic for anyone who uses the internet. We will continue to push for the adoption of the new EU Regulation to protect citizens' e-privacy.
 
“We also explained why, in absence of an international solution under the OECD umbrella, the EU cannot wait any longer, and must push for European solutions to ensure fair digital taxation.
 
“Another important topic is the Copyright legislation in the digital world, which the Parliament is discussing and will vote on after the summer. We discussed with tech experts the pressing questions of fundamental rights due to intended upload filters, and touched on the issue of text and data mining, which is essential for EU's global leading role in the field of artificial intelligence.
 
“We shared our concerns about fundamental rights and digitalisation in Turkey and supported the endeavours of Wikipedia to secure unlimited access to their services in Turkey.
 
 “We have also held meetings with Denmark's digital embassy and Austria's representation in Silicon Valley, where we underlined the urgent need for an EU presence in Silicon Valley under the umbrella of the European External Action Service.”