What do Europeans Want from the Internet of the Future?

European CommissionEuropeans are particularly interested in the future of the Internet. With the Next Generation Initiative (NGI), a project that was launched by the European Commission (EC) in 2016, the EC wants to understand the expectation of EU citizens regarding the future of the Internet. As a follow-up, an open consultation was held to help establish the views of EU citizens on what the values, and technology concerns, should be for the NGI. They included the protection of privacy, the creation of a proper ethical framework for Artificial Intelligence, and having the Internet as a place of diversity and pluralism. A survey conducted by REIsearch, in 2017 yielded a similar response. The results showed that Europeans remain vigilant regarding the protection of citizens’ rights in the digital world. Recent developments for the project include an extra 270 million euro investment by the EC, as part of the Horizon 2020 initiative, to lead on research programmes, and to build a more human-centric Internet to address the questions of the Internet of Things. NLnet and Gartner are also currently conducting a study on ways to consolidate the future NGI programme.

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