PANEL: Ministry of Microsoft: Public data in private hands

Concerns about digital sovereignty and the dependency of public powers on private infrastructures are on the rise. From Universities receiving “free” cloud storage from Google to States increasingly reliance on Microsoft or Amazon cloud services, questions arise about sovereignty when crucial information is in the hands of for-profit organisations.

The EU has expressed a priority to regain digital sovereignty and launched the GaiaX project for cloud services and compete with big giants, only to be taken over by Huawei, Alibaba, Microsoft and Amazon.

Are we moving towards another power grab by big companies over public infrastructures? Who should run our digital services and how should they be run to be truly “sovereign”? What would human-centric sovereignty entail? What is the role of open-source software as a political tool?

  • Moderators: Claire Fernandez, Executive Director EDRi (European Digital Rights)


  • Seda Gürses, Associate Professor, Faculty of Technology Policy and Management, TU Delft
  • Frank Karlitschek, Founder and CEO, Nextcloud GmbH
  • Estelle Massé, Legislative Manager and Global Data Protection Lead, Access Now

Check out the full programme here.

Registrations are open until 24 January, 2022 here.