Tuesday, May 24

The Government hires PwC to analyze how to develop the Charter of Digital Rights, one of its star measures

The Government has hired the consulting firm PwC to study the impact and possible developments of the Charter of Digital Rights, approved in July 2021. The text puts on paper a series of new rights related to new technologies, such as neurorights or digital disconnection, although it has no normative value. It is a political document, which the Government defined as the “compass” that will guide its actions in the digital field and one of the most important measures of the legislature in this area.

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“We are at the forefront of the world in protecting the rights of citizens,” said President Pedro Sánchez during his presentation, in which he was accompanied by Vice President Nadia Calviño and the Ministers of Justice and Science and Innovation. “Its objective is to propose a reference framework for the action of all public authorities, not only the Government of Spain,” he added.

According to the formalization of the contract that appeared this Friday in the BOE, the Executive will pay 73,260 euros to PwC to study how to develop the Charter from now on. The consultant, one of the calls Big Four (Deloitte, PwC, EY and KPMG), has won a contract for which two other offers had been submitted and for which the Government had set a ceiling of 90,000 euros.

“The Charter includes a series of rights that are associated with many areas, so it is necessary to weigh all the regulations of the Spanish legal system,” explain sources from the Secretary of State for Digitization and Artificial Intelligence (SEDIA). “It is necessary to carry out a very large survey of information, because, for example, non-discrimination by algorithms does not affect only one article of the Equality Law, but is disseminated throughout the legal regulations of the State.”

“Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to carry out this analysis and we need support to see all the articles that must be modified to integrate all the elements of the Charter,” add the same sources about the PwC contracting.

The contract related to the Charter is included in a package of four awards more related to legal advice related to the digital society. In addition to the analysis of possible uses of the Charter, the Government has also requested help to assess the “implications” of various measures proposed by the European Commission that will affect the moderation of content on the Internet, data traffic across borders and Privacy.

In addition to the analysis of possible uses of the Charter of Digital Rights, PwC has won another award, for another 76,000 euros. Another of the lots has fallen into the Cuatrecasas office, where former Vice President Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría works as a partner; while the remaining two have been awarded to smaller consultants.

In total, the Executive will pay 403,000 euros for these studies, almost 200,000 less than what was budgeted. The estimate is that the work will be carried out by about 15 people, three per project. “In order to carry out this evaluation and analysis work, it is considered necessary to contract external services through an open contract, since the General Subdirectorate for the Digital Society and more generally the Department currently do not have sufficient qualified personnel”, justified in the hiring report.


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