Cameron F. Kerry is the Ann R. and Andrew H. Tisch Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution and a global thought leader on privacy and cross-border information flows. In addition to his Brookings affiliation, Kerry is a visiting scholar at the MIT Media Lab.
Previously, Kerry served as general counsel and acting secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce, where he was a leader on a wide of range of issues including technology, trade, and economic growth and security. During his time as acting secretary, Kerry served as chief executive of this Cabinet agency and its 43,000 employees around the world, as well as an adviser to former President Barack Obama.
As co-chair of the National Science and Technology Council Subcommittee on Privacy and Internet Policy, Kerry spearheaded development of the White House blueprint on consumer privacy, Consumer Data Privacy in a Networked World: A Framework for Protecting Privacy and Promoting Innovation in the Global Digital Economy. He then led the administration's implementation of the blueprint, drafting privacy legislation and engaging in privacy issues with international partners, including the European Union. He also helped establish and lead the Commerce Department's Internet Policy Task Force, and was the department’s representative on cybersecurity issues and similar issues in the White House “Deputies Committee.”
Our personal data is being mined for economic gain by private companies, which raises questions about who owns it and what they can do with it. Simultaneously, data is increasingly being viewed as a resource for states seeking an economic and strategic advantage over their rivals. German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently asserted that it is time for Europe to wrestle control of European data from their US and Asian counterparts. German Minister, Peter Altmaier, is spearheading GAIA-X as a way to counterbalance what he views as strategic and economic advantages derived from Chinese and US companies owning the most considerable portion of cloud services in the world. As data enters the great power competition domain, how can we balance a state’s legitimate economic and security concerns without sacrificing the free flow of cross-border data channels? What impact will the new scramble for data have on existing trade and geo-economic conflicts? Should Europe’s ambitions go beyond data sovereignty towards AI sovereignty*?
* AI sovereignty = access to the most advanced AI-enabling technologies and data on a global level, applied according to European rules and values, without being dependent on foreign actors