Berlin (dpa) – The federal government wants to realize better use of data for digital business models in global competition with the US and China. To this end, the federal cabinet decided on a data strategy with more than 240 individual measures.
An important point is to significantly increase the usability of data based on European values. Companies and authorities must provide information so that it can be used commercially.
One has to ask in Germany whether one can afford to leave the “data treasures” unused in the long run, Chancellor Helge Braun (CDU) said in Berlin. In doing so, however, one cannot give up European values in the field of data protection. “We believe our data protection standards are extremely important.”
Digital State Minister Dorothee Bär (CSU) told the German news agency that the handling of data in this country is often accompanied by negative associations and fears. “In the digital age, data means added value, prosperity, innovation and real life relief for the individual”. With the data strategy, the federal government proposes “a roadmap for the future in which we will use data responsibly and innovatively”.
“This data strategy also needs to be brought to life,” emphasizes Braun. Data centers in Europe, among other things, should be expanded. Germany also needs more capacity for powerful computers.
The data strategy has been discussed for months. It also dealt with issues such as the duty to share data. This should be checked first for data-driven markets in particular. However, the procedure must also ensure that it does not violate trade secrets or intellectual property. The exchange of personal data must also not be forced. At the same time, central government wants to play a pioneering role in the provision of public administrative data.
The sector association Bitkom stated that an ambitious data strategy was not on time. “With a data strategy, we would get through the corona pandemic much better and healthier.” In view of future technologies such as artificial intelligence, the association demanded that the debates about digitization should not always be about avoiding data. Rather, we need to enable safe, responsible use that protects people’s privacy. “Now it’s a matter of switching« from discussion mode to implementation mode ».
Bitkom has rejected a general obligation to share data in its statement. This punishes innovative companies and inhibits innovation. Instead, data cooperation and voluntary data disclosure should be promoted and the public sector in particular should lead by example. “To do this, we need specific technical standards to facilitate the use of data provided by governments.”