This panel will examine how new markets and opportunities opened up by the Covid-19 pandemic have shaped business strategies for technology firms in the EU and worldwide. Technology firms are increasing their markets in public health logistics (contact tracing, vaccine certification, information distribution), educational technology and many other areas thanks to the pandemic. Less visibly, there is huge growth in the market for ID and biometric technologies, bordering technologies and home-working surveillance applications. These shifts have been accompanied by decreased controls on competition and an increased tendency on the part of authorities to legitimise pandemic-related innovation even when it challenges established boundaries. The panel will discuss the implications of these power shifts for regulators and advocacy organisations, comparing different regional challenges and possible policy and regulatory responses in the areas of privacy, data protection, competition regulation and civil society action.
• How has the emergency of the pandemic reshaped markets for technology firms?
• What new challenges does the pandemic create for policymakers, regulators and advocacy organisations interested in digital justice and rights?
• Do pandemic-related shifts in technological power differ across regions?
• How should regulatory and civil society power balance these shifts in market share and commercial infrastructure?