Trump Services Digital Advisor

23-03-2019 00:03

A CTO at the White House. Donald Trump on Thursday promoted Michael Kratsios to head the technology and digital policy of his administration. A position of "chief technology officer" created under the presidency of Barack Obama, but left vacant for two years.

The mission is to advise the president on technological issues, to make the link between the public and the private sector and to shape the reforms in this area – a roadmap that approaches, in France, that of the Secretary of State digital.

Thirty-two-year-old Michael Kratsios was one of the executives of the management company of Peter Thiel, the ultra-conservative billionaire who is one of the only figures in Silicon Valley to openly support Donald Trump.

technophobia

Advise a president to the limit of technophobia – he does not use e-mails – and very critical of the giants of the sector could be tricky. But Michael Kratsios has been in the Trump administration since the beginning of his term, and so far seems to be gaining consensus, even in the Democratic opposition.

"It gives me hope. Nothing in our discussions could make me think he was partisan, "said Bloomberg Aneesh Chopra, the first to have held the position of" chief technology officer "under the Obama administration in 2009.

Michael Kratsios, who defines his mission as "understanding the message of the President and translating it into the political agenda of technology", was particularly notable in the policy implemented in the field of artificial intelligence to meet the Made in China 2025 plan driven by Beijing.

Screw turn

"They [la Chine, NDLR] have cameras on every corner and donate these data to private companies. This does not mean that we do not have extremely valuable databases, "explains Kratsios. Its main feat of arms: a decree, signed by Donald Trump in February, which enjoins independent agencies to make their databases available to researchers and companies.

The moderate figure in the president's administration also did not hesitate to oppose his own side. He strongly contradicted the Trump 2020 campaign committee's proposal to give the federal government control over 5G infrastructure, calling for a "free competition" approach.

Michael Kratsios should not, however, take part in the turn of the screw that promises to be on the side of the giants of tech. This should be reserved for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which has just set up a task force to examine the competitive practices of large companies in the sector. The consumer protection agency will scrutinize mergers and acquisitions – past and future – of groups and is preparing to impose a heavy fine on Facebook.

Basil Dekonink

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