ICC Sets Digital Economy Priorities

Commission members gather in Paris to assess the current digital economy landscape and discuss strategic priorities.
Commission members gather in Paris to assess the current digital economy landscape and discuss strategic priorities.

Business and legal professionals representing over 20 organizations came together in Paris this week at a meeting of the International Chamber of Commerce Commission on the Digital Economy.

The meeting was led by incoming chair Joseph Alhadeff, chief privacy strategist and vice president for global public policy with Oracle, who began by paying tribute to his predecessor Herbert Heitmann, former executive vice president of external communications at Royal Dutch Shell, for his long and valuable service to the commission during his six-year long tenure as commission chair.

The biannual gathering presented a chance for members to assess the current digital economy landscape and discuss strategic priorities in light of developments relating to Internet governance, data protection and privacy.

Alhadeff underscored that privacy, along with the broader issue of Internet governance and cyber-security, were priority issues for the commission along with the development of a new Global Action Plan for the Digital Economy. A ready and practical compendium of business positions, the first edition of the action plan was originally submitted on behalf of business to a ministerial conference on electronic commerce, jointly organized by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Government of Canada in Ottawa in 1998, where it was well received as the consensus business input.

Concerning cyber-security, in particular, USCIB’s submission on the Draft EU Network and Information Security (NIS) Directive will be considered by the Commission in the coming weeks for possible advocacy.

Day two of the meeting commenced with an update by Christiaan van der Valk
and Jacques Beglinger, co-chairs of the ICC Task Force on Security and Authentication, on preparations for an ICC conference on paperless trade facilitation. Scheduled to take place in 2014, the conference aims to practically address concrete problems faced when trading digitally.

Van der Valk said: “The conference is an opportunity for ICC to be in the forefront on the paperless trade issue and to step up to represent both the business community and users. It is important that the conference is not about abstract policy but rather a chance to get business people to interact with people in government to talk about real issues that create real challenges.”

The vice chair of the commission, Gerard Hartsink, led a discussion on the possibility of developing an impactful and practical set of ICC guidelines to help executives understand and enhance company cyber-security. “As e-business grows so does cybercrime. A lot of companies, particularly small- and medium-sized enterprises are asking for help and ICC is very well placed to help them,” he said.

Eric Loeb, vice president of external affairs at AT&T and chair of the ICC Task Force on Internet and Telecommunications, wrapped up the meeting agenda by updating members of the commission on the work of the task force, as well as outcomes of meetings of the World Telecommunication Policy Forum and World Summit on the Information Society Action Lines Forum which took place in May. Loeb also looked ahead to meetings including an Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers meeting in South Africa in July, October’s Internet Governance Forum in Indonesia, and the International Telecommunication Union Plenipotentiary Conference in Busan, Republic of Korea from October 20 to November 7.

Download the third edition of the ICC Global Action Plan for the Digital Economy.

Staff contact: Barbara Wanner

More on USCIB’s Information, Communications & Technology Committee

Staff Contact:   Barbara Wanner

VP, ICT Policy & Managing Director, Washington Office
Tel: 202.617.3155

Barbara Wanner directs USCIB’s work on information, communications and technology issues. She works with members and government officials on a wide range of international business issue that include advocating for the continuation of the multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance and for policies aimed at promoting the stability, openness and innovative flexibility of the Internet. She represents USCIB members’ interests in several international forums, including the UN, APEC and the OECD.
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