Ireland needs to defend its position in Europe’s digital future

From Safe Harbour and Privacy Shield to Facebook and Apple’s tax affairs, Ireland is at the centre of the digital battlefield of Europe whether it wants to be or not. The decisions we make and actions we take will sum up our character in the eyes of our European neighbours, writes John Kennedy. From our remote outcrop on Europe’s westernmost fringe, you would think we would be shielded from pivotal events, like war, etc, but because of the universal nature of the world’s digital economy, Ireland is on the frontline. In fact, we are at the very centre of the world in digital matters due to geography and industrial policy, and it’s time to show some responsibility and backbone. We are on the frontline of issues like privacy thanks to the presence of tech giants like Apple, Microsoft and Facebook and we are on the frontline of thorny subjects like taxation on revenues from advertising, marketing, e-commerce, manufactured goods and a lot more. Every year, the digital economy accounts for around €50bn in exports from Ireland and the digital economy contributes three extra jobs for every digital worker in the local, physical economy, so we have a lot to be grateful for. However, it’s time to change the tone and be more proactive, present and critical in the debates of the day, rather than acting bothered or scared every time the glare of Europe or elsewhere is upon us. This was originally posted to Silicon Republic. To read the post in its entirety, please click here.