In Case You Missed It – on the agenda this week: interconnection, AI, and cybersecurity

Welcome to ICYMI – a weekly snapshot of European news stories that have given me pause for thought. ICYMI is a chance for you to go beyond the front-page headlines and find out what other stories may be worthy of your attention. 

Last week, the biggest story in tech PR was Mobile World Congress. This annual gathering of mobile technology and connectivity companies usually showcases some unusual and fascinating announcements, and this year was no exception.

Xiaomi presented a robot dog that costs $3,000, and Motorola showed off a rollable phone. Meanwhile, Microsoft announced an 11-point plan for its AI datacentre governance called the “AI Access Principles,” once again highlighting how AI is dominating the news agenda. If you missed coverage of MWC, TechCrunch has a useful wrap up.

It’s also worth highlighting comments from the keynote speech that kicked off the 5G Industry Evolution Summit at MWC. According to Computer Weekly, GSMA and Huawei said that 2024 is going to be a pivotal year for the mobile industry, with the imminent introduction of 5G Advanced networks: “The introduction of 5G Advanced/5.5G networks will be the cornerstone of an intelligent economy expected to be worth more than $18.8 trillion.”

This “intelligent economy” and the convergence of 5G, AI and Cloud Computing is going to be a major theme for the rest of the year, and PR agencies need to think about how it will impact their clients. This theme is already playing out in other recent news stories, for instance…

Companies neglect cybersecurity in their race for AI has a story about a new study from Kaspersky showing that while more than half of companies surveyed have already implemented AI and Internet of Things (IoT) technology, installing cybersecurity measures to protect these technologies is proving to be a challenge.

According to the study, companies are struggling to take appropriate cybersecurity precautions for these interconnected technologies. The study shows that the less widespread the implementation of technologies, the more difficult it is for companies to protect them. This vulnerability to threats from cyberspace poses a major risk, as these technologies are becoming essential to the “intelligent economy” discussed by GSMA and Huawei. In fact, concerns about cybersecurity are even attracting political attention…

US launches investigation into cybersecurity risks from foreign cars

The Biden administration has initiated an investigation into the potential security risks posed by foreign cars on American roads, with a particular focus on automakers from “concerning countries” such as China, according to a report in Business Insider. There are worries that Chinese-made vehicles could gather sensitive data on American citizens, infrastructure, and corporations.

The investigation holds significance for any client in the cybersecurity space. As 5G and AI technology intertwines with automobiles, connecting our vehicles to our phones, navigation systems and infrastructure, the potential for threats extend beyond traditional cybersecurity spaces.

Europe takes on the tech giants

Another angle to this connectivity theme is how governments will attempt to regulate companies that will be major players in the “intelligent economy.” We can see this play out in a report from Les Echos about how Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, Microsoft and ByteDance have until March 6 to comply with all the obligations imposed by the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA), a cousin of the Digital Services Act, designed to counter the anti-competitive practices of digital champions.

The DMA requires these companies to make their platforms interoperable with those of their rivals, obliges operating system developers to allow third-party stores to download applications, and prohibits marketplaces from siphoning off their partners’ data for their own use.

This legislation is an attempt by the EU to try and break the de facto monopolies around major tech platforms and support European companies. The EU is also using the DMA as a show of force to become a global leader in regulation. How successful the EU will be at combatting tech monopolies remains to be seen.