A digital update from Germany

With the digital landscape changing dramatically in recent weeks, Interel Germany give us an update on everything from the new ten-point plan, to safe harbor...

There were gales of laughter two years ago when German chancellor Angela Merkel announced: “The internet is Neuland (new grounds) for all of us”. German report snippet

Today, the Internet and apps, smartphones and tablets are “Neuland” to us no more; even Merkel acknowledges this fact.

We understand the merits the digital world has to offer. We are posting pictures from our weekend BBQs on Facebook, we are ordering shoes and medicine online, not to mention booking our vacations and mummies organizing toddler groups via WhatsApp. And since yesterday there is a new website which tells people where to take their donations of clothes and toys to help the newly arriving refugees.

It is safe to say: we love the internet and the digital world!

At the same time we are – following our “German Angst” – very afraid of it. We don’t know how it works, but we do know there is danger in the net. Criminals steal our identity, our credit card details, sometimes even our login data for online banking. 

There is a dark-net out there, we don`t want to know what is happening there. The big US companies are collecting our data and sell it, but to whom? And big NSA-brother is watching, too.

How to solve this dilemma between the desire to take part in the digital world and the fear of all the danger out there? The German government, MPs and other digital stakeholders try this answer: more consumer protection through regulation and other political initiatives.

In the shade of refugee crisis and “Dieselgate”, the broad debate on cyber policy has been ignited once more by new ideas and plans tabled in the last few days. 

The German Interel Team has put together an overview on 1) the 10-point-agenda by the government, strengthening consumer protection and establishing a “Digital Agency”, 2) German reactions on the Safe Harbor ruling and 3) the plans by German companies to establish an “Internet Institute”.

Last, but not least, our Senior Consultant Stefanie Grunert throws light on the tricky debate on eHealth and Germany`s long way introducing an “electronic health card”.

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