If anyone were in doubt of the impact that the misuse of data can have on businesses and nation states, they’d need to look no further than the recent investigations surrounding Team Jorge in Israel, the disinformation unit that allegedly worked to disrupt elections in countries worldwide.
Five years on, the Cambridge Analytica scandal is a reminder of how data is increasingly woven into the fabric of modern society and the dangers when it is weaponised.
While arguably it was Edward Snowden’s 2013 whistle-blowing of National Security Agency activities that triggered global discussions on data sovereignty, the Cambridge Analytica events accelerated it.
Just a year later, aware of the growing importance of cloud computing as the backbone of modern technology, governments in Germany and France came up with a cunning plan.
Today, that plan has evolved into what is called Gaia-X, an association of governments, technology firms, academics, public bodies and not-for-profits that is working to define a common way to solve Europe’s digital sovereignty conundrum. The need, according to Francesco Bonfiglio, CEO of Gaia-X, is being driven by the fact that big tech platforms are controlling everything.