President’s editorial

Eric Nizard, Président d’EESTEL

We do not live a digital revolution, but many at the same time. The processes that once combined the human and the real, are accelerated and intertwined via digital. There is less hardware, less delay, and, within these processes, less human.

We also see the Internet giants (GAFA, …) taking over many powers, such as that of formatting and conveying information, and especially that of having unlimited personal information on many individuals. This seizure is multiplied by their financial resources, which are increasing inexorably.

Among the digital processes, those that involve commercial transactions are individually more sensitive. They are backed by secure procedures. But one of the effects of the uberization of society is that the commercialization of trade is commoditized, including within companies, whose human resources will be less and less wage-earners.

As for individuals, they were formerly protected by states, at least in democracies. It is less and less the case, the states weaken, being bound to new forces that they didn’t foresee and that they do not know how to control or even to monitor. They just can’t gather and protect their citizens anymore.

It also appears that the States lack of expertise in digital, transactions and digital identity management. If they do not quickly fill these gaps, they are doomed to continue to weaken.

Another major challenge for our societies is to give back to their citizens the power over their personal data.

Can we still do it? Is it still possible to deal separately with trade and governance?

If there is still time to act, what will be the vectors of this rebirth? The State? Why not, but it’s tied to a deep modification of its leaders’ DNA and the real missions of its administrations. They also need to create an independent vision and expertise that most states are far from having today. Other models of governance of common assets remain to be imagined and implemented. A “zero-gov” Blockchain? The strengths of this technology are security and privacy. But the Blockchain has weaknesses in transaction processing capacity. In this case, who will launch the project of new democracy by the Blockchain, without falling into a pseudo central governance?

Whatever the scenarios envisaged, there are market and trades needs for expertise in electronic transaction systems. Experts are facing the colossal challenge of controlling centrifugal forces, on the one hand those that enrich and secure the transactions, which they accompany through their expertise, and on the other hand those that target personal data, and therefore privacy, that they have to contain, through their same expertise.

Experts, especially those at EESTEL, whose competence, global vision and independent judgment are assets to meet this immense challenge, have an important role to play in this process.