Facebook chief wants EU not China to lead on tech rules
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by Alex Pigman
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg on Monday urged the European Union to take the lead in setting global standards for tech regulation or risk seeing countries follow China as a model.
“I think right now a lot of other countries are looking at China… and saying: ‘Hey, that model looks like maybe it might work. Maybe it gives our government more control?’,” Zuckerberg said, during a video debate with EU commissioner Thierry Breton.
Under the Beijing model, “you don’t have to respect human rights quite as much in how the society gets run,” he added.
“I just think that that’s really dangerous and I worry about that kind of model spreading to other countries,” Zuckerberg said in the talk, organised by the Centre on Regulation in Europe
“I think that the best antidote to that is having a clear regulatory framework that comes out of Western democratic countries, and that can become a standard around the world,” he argued.
“When Europe sets policies, they often become the standards around the world,” he said, citing the EU’s GDPR data protection legislation, which has been widely replicated.
Breton, one of the EU’s top officials on tech policy, said that Facebook and other big tech companies must also live up to certain values.
If you want to have the right regulation “you have to have a clear set of values and in Europe we have these values,” he said, hinting Facebook sometimes fell short, especially on controlling illegal content or paying fair taxes.
“At the end of the day, if we cannot find a way, we will regulate, of course,” he warned. (AFP)