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“The state must intervene to define new rules”

Bernard Charlès, CEO of Dassault Systèmes, in November 2015. ERIC PIERMONT / AFP

Bernard Charlès is CEO of Dassault Systèmes, which he joined in 1983, two years after its creation. Having become the world leader in design, manufacturing and industrial simulation software, the company entered the CAC 40 in September 2018.

How should sovereignty apply to digital data?

The world in which we live is no longer just physical, it is a world enlarged by the virtual, the digital. This requires defining new social, societal, ethical, interaction conventions … Throughout history, intangible things such as borders, which define a territory, where the frequencies of communication have become part of the heritage of 'a country. Today, data is part of our heritage. We do not accept that our police and security authorities accumulate data on our movements, and it is prohibited by the CNIL [Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés], but foreign platforms do it, completely and without limits, in exchange for a service offered to us! It seems abnormal to me that we enter into agreements with foreign platforms without having asked the question of the sovereignty of the data stored there.

Does the sovereign cloud, which guarantees the confidentiality and hosting of data in France, answer this question?

“The sovereign cloud is not an IT problem! Above all, it must respond to the problem of commercial asymmetry ”

The concept of sovereign cloud must meet defined precautionary rules. We have developed such a solution for our customers, not only in France and Europe, but also in different parts of the world. And we even demonstrated that it was profitable. But the sovereign cloud is not an IT problem! Above all, it must respond to the problem of commercial asymmetry.

What do you mean by “commercial asymmetry”?

Google Maps knows where you are and where you are going, but there is an asymmetry between the data collected and the service you get in return. In addition, you are not aware of the value that this data represents for them. As soon as there is such a dissymmetry, the sovereign State must intervene because this has an impact on societal conventions. It’s a real political issue.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Digital: the cloud, an issue of sovereignty

Take the area of ​​health. All digital data that deals with the health of individuals is part of the heritage of a nation. This ” common good “, in the sense of Jean Tirole [prix Nobel d’économie 2014], must make an efficient and affordable health service. For this, it is necessary to define rules of protection, right of use, sharing, etc. Thanks to the data stored on a doctor's appointment booking platform, treatment sheets, examination reports, etc., in fact everything that enters the health journey, it is possible to “profile »A population or predict an epidemic. These data must be used for healthcare in France. And it is the vocation of the Ministry of Health to manage this data rather than that of a service hosted on a foreign platform, even encrypted!

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