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2020 Vision: Three Factors to Consider When Expanding in EU

Seeking growth is second nature for business owners and leaders. The expansion process is not without its difficulties, as cultural differences and a rapidly changing landscape can be tricky to adjust to. This is a problem that companies currently face, and one that can be addressed with some foresight. So, read on to learn about what companies need to prepare for when expanding in 2020!

The Cybersecurity Act

The world's growing reliance on technology has brought about a newfound appreciation for cybersecurity. Until recently, the EU Agency for Cybersecurity didn't have a permanent mandate regarding matters of online security. This all changed with the Cybersecurity Act – a permanent mandate that will take effect in 2020. It will subject EU companies to a certification scheme that is made up of a set of rules and technical requirements that have been agreed upon by the EU itself.

Despite the cybersecurity certification not being mandatory, it does not mean that it will remain as such in the years to come. This is because the European Commission, after assessing the effectiveness of the certification scheme, may opt to push for legislative support. This can lead to the certification becoming mandatory for all companies in the EU. Because of this, it would be best for businesses to adhere to its guidelines and standards before they become mandatory to avoid any issues that this may bring up in the future. One good place to start would be by incorporating cybersecurity principles in the earliest stages of product development in a way that anticipates and minimises the threat of cyberattacks.

The Changing Landscape of Digital Marketing

Statista reveals that 89% of EU households have internet access, which is why it's not surprising that it is central to businesses. In particular, digital marketing has become an integral aspect of doing business, and companies either have in-house or outsourced strategists. That said, the practice could change with the EU's overhaul of their copyright laws. The new copyright directive will make it so that sites such as Google will have to pay publishers for the content they use, as well as enforce new censorship stipulations that will heavily filter the content that appears on the search engine. This is an issue for business owners, as Ayima Kickstart emphasises the importance of crafting content with Google users in mind. The existing strategy makes use of the search engine's algorithm to help sites with good content gain visibility on the site. This could all change with the EU's overhaul of the way online copyright works, and it goes without saying that these changes will alter the way both corporations and individuals use the internet.

The Guardian highlights how the changes made regarding copyright legislation are the largest and most contentious in two decades, with the most controversial change falling under Article 13. The aforementioned article will make it harder for companies to release user-generated content, as it will let rights holders flag content that they deem as copyright violations, which will then result in the content being taken down. Article 13 is likely to be an issue in the coming year, which means companies must ensure that their platforms are not vulnerable to copyright breaches by brushing up on the extent and limitations of copyright law.

Ethical Artificial Intelligence

In recent years, artificial intelligence (AI) has been a topic of contention due to the misconception that it would lead to a wave of mass unemployment. This has since been debunked, as the BBC reports that the rise of AI will create around as many jobs as it is estimated to displace. However, there are now more pressing issues about AI that the EU has chosen to address.

Instead of joining the AI race against its American and Chinese counterparts, the EU has chosen to focus its efforts on making AI more ethical and human-centric. The European Center for Not-For-Profit Law lists the EU's ethics guidelines on the use of AI, with one of the main requirements being that development and use of AI adhere to the human rights standards of the European Convention on Human Rights and its Court.



Jecca Baen



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