Blockchain, AI, cybersecurity … “Above all, we must not fall into excess of regulation”

The CNCC notes that in the digital age, information systems and digital infrastructures represent a great strategic challenge for organizations, becoming one of their main levers for growth and performance. The very nature of the company and its value (that of its intangible assets, in particular its data) are called into question. If this movement is a source of opportunities, it also exposes to new risks (data breach, ransomware, reputational risk, non-compliance with the GDPR, etc.), which weigh on the company and its environment. Hence a greater need for trust.

Trust is earned

“We have seen it with some texts and in particular the Tous Anti Covid application, addressing this issue only from a technical point of view does not allow to win the trust of the citizen. It is built, it cannot be decreed ”, underlines Jean-Michel Mis, deputy and vice president of the Cybersecurity and digital sovereignty study group. “It is necessary to explain to the citizen what he will be used for and how, what he will change in his daily life, if it is to provide him with a service or protection that he could not expect until then”.

Since digital is a new form of language used everywhere, it is essential to carry out educational work to allow citizens to have common references. For Jean-Michel Mis, the state can also develop new tools closer to the territories and ensure that the services it promotes are accessible everywhere. “We saw it with the Yellow Vests, there is nothing worse than knowing that a public service exists but that we do not have access to it for public policies”, explains the deputy, adding that the issue of training, which was rarely addressed during the previous five years should be one of the priorities.

The over-regulation in question

“The law cannot fix everything. We must correct this reflex of wanting to legislate on everything ”, adds Rémy Ozcan, president of the French Federation of Blockchain professionals, for whom the inflation of standards can be a brake on innovation. “The draft MiCA European regulation, relating to the supervision of crypto-assets, was adopted in mid-March by the Economic Affairs Commission of the European Parliament. We managed to avoid the imposition of the choice of the type of protocol for the use of the Blockchain. It is currently used in about fifty business sectors. We cannot limit its use exclusively to finance “, underlines Rémy Ozcan, who believes that this is a strong message from the community in favor of an approach of technological neutrality.” This technology is beginning to emerge, above all we must not fall into over-regulation ” , Christian Poyau, who believes that Bitcoin is the gold of the future, abounds. “Even in environmental matters, the positive externalities are far superior to the negative ones. Even if imperfect, digital technology is one of the best levers to move towards a more environmentally friendly production “, he adds, sharing the position of Rémy Ozcan, who stresses that the energy and environmental issue often serves as a justification for promoting or banning this or that technology.

“We may have a virtuous intention, but in the implementation things can get worse”, acknowledges Jean-Michel Mis. “It is up to us to have humility as legislators. We should listen more to the field, create the conditions for a continuous and more interactive dialogue with the actors we want to regulate ”. Experimentation laws could also be implemented to set a big picture and give free rein to innovation. “We could regulate ex post, if necessary, once technology has found its place”, explains the deputy, specifying that it remains despite everything necessary to protect consumers in the face of the emergence of this new asset class.

A formidable lever for development

It must be said that the trust placed in these new technologies sometimes depends on hearsay. “If the blockchain conveys a sulphurous image (due to Bitcoin, in turn associated with cybercrime, ed), it is because its functioning is not well known. Transactions are not anonymous but pseudonymised. Everything is traceable ”, underlines Rémy Ozcan, specifying that the ECB also plans to issue its own digital euro. This technology could also be a tool to defend our sovereignty from the power of GAFAM in digital matters. “The blockchain is an open source technology. Everyone can take advantage of it: it is neither the prerogative of a country nor a company ”, remembers Rémy Ozcan.

But for Christian Poyau it is essential to put an end to a French prejudice, to focus on risks first, instead of seeing the opportunities offered by digital first. “As an entrepreneur and co-president of Medef, I spend my time repeating it. Often the entrepreneur makes the digital-risk association, while he is above all a source of opportunities. Although of course, whatever we do, there are always problems that can arise ”.

The CNCC is convinced of this: public and private companies (of all sizes and all sectors together) must at least ask themselves the right questions. They will therefore be able to act and guarantee the minimum conditions for a relationship of trust with their stakeholders. “Analyzing the risks and evaluating them is our main role. With the emergence of digital challenges, inevitably, the way we work is changing significantly. The CACs have always managed to develop their missions according to the evolution of the law and current issues ”, concludes Yannick Ollivier.

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