[Answered] Why is there a need for a framework for global digital governance? What steps should be taken to achieve this objective?

Introduction: Contextual introduction.
Body: Explain why there is need for a framework for global digital governance. Also some steps to achieve this objective.
Conclusion: Write a way forward.

Global digital governance encompasses the norms, institutions, and standards that shape the regulation around the development and use of these technologies. Digital governance has long-term commercial and political implications. A common minimum digital governance framework can become a win-win for both governments as well as internet companies.

Need for a framework for global digital governance:

  • There are challenges facing the digital economy including anti-trust, data governance, intermediary liabilities, consumer protection and the ethical use of technologies.
  • Most countries are currently struggling to strike a balance between reining in Big Tech versus boosting their digital economy.
  • Companies are burdened with the particular regulatory requirements of the different countries they operate in.
  • It allows organizations to minimize uncertainty in development by clearly establishing accountability and decision-making authority for all digital matters.
  • Having a well-designed digital governance framework minimizes effort and cost and ensures digital business maturity. 
  • Effective digital governance results in greater economic benefits, enhanced security and risk management.
  • To enhance security and resilience by protecting against cyberattacks and to avoid dependence on third parties for critical resources.

The following steps should be taken to achieve the objective of global digital governance:

  • Engage with existing multilateral institutions to incorporate and address the new issues raised by technology. E.g. a greater focus on digital trade liberalisation at the World Trade Organisation; extension of Interpol to tackling cybercrime etc.
  • More rapid progress on issues such as trade, technology and data flows can be achieved by working in parallel with smaller groups of ‘like-minded’ countries, such as G7, US-EU, G7 + 4, OECD, Quad etc.
  • Address issues of regulating Big Tech corporate behaviour primarily through US-European cooperation, as both are major markets and US has headquarters of almost all the relevant companies.
  • The uncertainty and risks from military applications of AI and other new technologies can be solved through primarily bilateral and minilateral discussions.
  • Build consensus on how to regulate technology (e.g. digital taxation), share its benefits and address security risks (e.g. bans or agreements on specific uses of technology like chemical weapons ban).
  • Recruit, develop and train cohorts of policy professionals at national and international level for policy formulation with an up-to-date understanding of key technologies and business models.

Wise investments in global digital governance allow countries to address concerns on security, societal values and anti-competitive behaviours while limiting the impact on economic productivity, innovation and entrepreneurialism.

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