European Union citizens who refuse World Economic Forum digital IDs will be excluded from participating in society, according to European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen who was speaking at a G20 Summit session dubbed “One Future.”
According to Von der Leyen, our collective future is digital, and therefore global entities must draw boundaries and enforce regulations.
Alarmingly, von der Leyen praised the EU’s strides towards a bloc-wide digital identity app developed by the WEF capable of storing a citizen’s personal information, including financial information and credit cards, driver’s license, passport data, and medical records, including vaccine status.
Von der Leyen championed the concept of digital public infrastructure similar to the coronavirus passport system – a system developed by the EU in response to the Covid pandemic. The World Health Organization (WHO) embraced it with open arms as a global standard for combating health threats.
“Many of you are familiar with the COVID-19 digital certificate. The EU developed it for itself. The model was so functional and so trusted that 51 countries on 4 continents adopted it for free. Today, the WHO uses it as a global standard to facilitate mobility in times of health threats,” von der Leyen continued.
These developments raise concerns for individuals and nations that hold free speech and privacy in high regard.
Von der Leyen, in her position as the EU Commission President, also touched on AI and the digital landscape in her address. She acknowledged the potential dangers while also extolling the opportunities linked with advancing AI technology and emphasized the importance of harnessing the new technology.
“Today I want to focus on AI and digital infrastructure. As it has been described, AI has risks but also offers tremendous opportunities. The crucial question is how to harness a rapidly changing technology.
“In the EU, in 2020, we presented the first-ever law on artificial intelligence. We want to facilitate innovation while building trust. But we need more. What the world does now will shape our future. I believe that Europe — and its partners — should develop a new global framework for AI risks,” Von der Leyen said.
Von der Leyen praised the European Union’s move in 2020 to introduce the first legal framework on AI, a step taken with the intent of fostering innovation alongside trust. However, she insisted that this wasn’t sufficient. She suggested a multinational adoption of a coping mechanism for managing AI risks.
The EU Chief also stressed that globally accepted standards must be created under the purview of the United Nations, akin to their Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Humanity stood to benefit, she argued, if an international authority could clarify the risks and rewards related to AI, akin to the IPCC for climate concerns.