France says goodbye to Google: wants to be independent

To avoid providing the United States with confidential data, France has decided to say goodbye to Google's Chrome browser on its national computer systems

That the French don't particularly like anything that isn't designed or produced within their borders is common knowledge, but France's choice to say goodbye to Google still seems a bit drastic. Yet that's what's happening within the top transalpine organizations.

Both the French National Assembly and the French Ministry of the Army have decided to say goodbye to Google's search engine within their computer systems. In its place the transalpine institutions have started using Qwant, a search engine that, needless to say, is also produced by French and German developers. The choice, apparently not very understandable, would be explained in terms of greater privacy and confidentiality that Qwant guarantees to its users: unlike Google, in fact, the Franco-Teutonic search engine does not store data and information on users' activities, so as to be able to propose ad hoc advertising. France, moreover, has justified the choice by saying that it doesn't want to become in the course of time slave of US or Chinese informatic giants and is working to have French alternatives to the main services of the Net.

The digital threat and the international espionage

The choice of France is not casual and surely is not dictated exclusively by a nationalist spirit that wants to reward the services realized beyond the Alps. The purpose of Google's abandonment within the national information systems is related to the last scandal of international cyber-espionage that concerns the United States. According to many members of the French government, in fact, with the latest law, the so-called Cloud Act, the United States could access the data stored by the various U.S. cloud services by any global user.

France has taken to heart the issue of a nation's digital sovereignty, that is, the ability of a country to manage and control its own data and those of its citizens. In France, it all started with Edward Snowden. In 2013, when the American whistleblower revealed that the NSA was spying on foreign leaders, and since then several French parliamentarians have started talking about countermeasures to be taken quickly as a single nation and as Europe to avoid becoming digital "colonies" of other countries. It's no coincidence that even in recent times, French President Emmanuel Macron has been particularly outspoken in calling for France's independence from foreign tech companies, especially when it comes to data protection.