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Heidi.News: Geneva as a center for digital governance?

On November 16th, Swiss news platform Heidi.News published an interview with Yaniv Benhamou, a lawyer specializing in digital law and a lecturer in data protection at the University of Geneva, about the potential for the Swiss policy hub Geneva to become a global center for digital governance.

In the French-language article, Benhamou outlines an approach to global digital governance involving a minimum framework plus existing instruments, such as the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). He argues that Geneva-based agencies such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and International Organization for Standardization (ISO) would be well-positioned to navigate the technical and legal challenges of implementing such an approach.

“The needs around the sharing of data on one side, and on the other the balkanization of the internet with forms of takeover of control — even surveillance — by states lead to a rise in tensions. They require a new approach to digital governance. This is all the more so as data sharing concerns important societal questions, such as ethics and the protection of our data and our private life, which must find a comprehensive and effective response,” Benhamou told Heidi.News, pointing to the coronavirus pandemic as a case-in-point.

Yaniv Benhamou is currently leading the series of conferences open to the general public, “Parlons numérique“, organized between September and December 2020 by the University of Geneva. 

Read the full interview, in French: A quoi pourrait ressembler la régulation d’internet et pourquoi Genève en serait-elle le centre? 16 November 2020. Fabrice Delaye, Heidi.News.