We may have just had a historic moment in France at the Élysée. We would definitely like to believe that. Les Échos reports that 70 global tech CEOs have committed to Emmanuel Macron by signing a manifesto that includes a total of eight commitments. Among other things, we promise the fight against hateful or terrorist content, improved data protection and even tax justice.
French unicorns are waiting for you
On Monday, November 30th, the bosses of the giants Google, Facebook, Booking, Twitter, Snapchat or even Uber met in the Élysée together with other great French bosses, including Stéphane Richard for Orange, Xavier Niel, Ilias Group, Gilles Pélisson from of the TF1 group, Jean-Laurent Bonnafé from BNP Paribas and Jean-Paul Agon from L’Oréal. Two French unicorns, including BlaBlaCar and Doctolib, as well as two Asian giants, Chinese Huawei and Indian Bharti, were also in the game. Two big absenteeism: Tim Cook for Apple and Jeff Bezos from Amazon.
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This reunion corresponds to an intermediate summit until the third Tech For Good summit, which is scheduled for June 2021. An initiative by Emmanuel Macron to try to unite the big tech bosses from around the world and bring them together to form working groups. For example, parity or diversity has already been discussed in the tech world, an issue on which large tech companies have already made a number of commitments. Since then, the issues of economic and social inclusion and the environment have been on the table.
A Tech For Good initiative ahead of the Digital Services Act
This time, the Élysée hopes to stimulate debate before the publication of the law on digital services. On Monday, November 30th, eight commitments were defined. Among the latter we find the fight against hateful and terrorist content in the first place. A topic that is very dear to France and which implemented a law against online hate in July 2020. A topical issue following the assassination of Samuel Paty that was alleged on Twitter. In this manifesto we also find restrictions, especially for Google, which will soon no longer be able to advertise its own services on its search engine, a practice which the European Commission has already condemned three times.
At the signing of the manifesto, the companies present committed themselves to “contribute fairly to the taxes of the countries” in which they operate. The end of tax optimization? In any case, France won’t have waited for November 30th to submit its tax return, a tax also known as the GAFA tax, to the digital giants. After Bruno Le Maire launched the idea of a European tax, he finally decided not to wait and go it alone. Finally, privacy issues were also addressed in this session, as well as issues such as the environmental impact of web giants, their role in the digital divide and the fight against discrimination.