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Monday, February 26, 2024

Federal government wants to unlock the potential of data

According to government plans, chief data officers and trustees should ensure that society can derive more benefits from open data.

The federal government wants to tap the potential of open and shared data for society as a whole. For this purpose, it decided on a data strategy with 240 line items on Wednesday. Especially during the corona pandemic, “we have come to appreciate new technologies,” said Chancellor Helge Braun (CDU). Here, for example, more data would already be exchanged in the areas of health and mobility, which “increases the resilience of our society”.

90 percent of the available measured values ​​and comparable information have so far been lying idle, explained Braun, they could be worth around 435 billion euros for Germany alone by 2025. The government therefore wants to concentrate on a “good infrastructure” for data exchange with projects such as the Gaia-X cloud project for business and efficient data centers. The data strategy also provides for a national research data platform which, among other things, will bring together cancer registers and create “large databases” for training systems for artificial intelligence (AI), for example for the analysis of X-ray images.

Entrepreneurs have to open up to share their data with the competition, said Braun. In the USA, logistics companies have seen that, given the mass of mobility data from large companies, they could take a back seat when developing algorithms for delivery. Therefore, an association has set up clear rules for data sharing in order to pool the competencies as an industry. As an incentive for companies in this country, in accordance with the planned European Data Governance Act, data trustees are to be used, who are described in the strategy as “trustworthy intermediaries”.

According to Braun, all those involved should be able to rely on the fact that secure methods for anonymization and pseudonymization as well as practical data portability and IT security are adhered to. Then the Cabinet already agreed to a framework paper 2019 . The government wants to check whether a specific legal framework for Personal Information Management Systems (PIMS) is necessary, which should ensure data protection law and protect the interests of users.

The state, which itself is sitting on large databases, wants to take the lead. In addition to the official data protection officer, a “Chief Data Officer” or scientist is to be installed in each Federal Ministry as a “data usage officer”. They are intended to ensure that data is used better and more intensively in the federal authorities and that it is made available openly.

The government wants to significantly increase awareness of the topic of “handling data” among the general population, business and science and to this end, in February, for example, launch a “national digital education offensive”. “Data competence is part of the ABC of digitization”, underlined Digital State Minister Dorothee Bär. Even elementary schools should teach “how to read data correctly”.

The CSU politician said that the sharing of data is “still filled with fears for many people”. The “upper bracket” of the strategy is therefore to promote positive, innovative and new business models in this area. The fact that the General Data Protection Regulation ( GDPR ) is observed does not have to be “automatically in every second sentence”. You can “just tick the box” behind it.

The “very concrete benefits of data for every single citizen” and the community should become more clear, added Bär. Every municipality can theoretically use location data from cell phones to avoid traffic jams or improve the air. “The economy can build better factories thanks to sensors,” she brought up another example. “Data will help to better understand and fight the virus.” The Christsoziale defended the fact that the strategy should also be discussed on Wednesday with users of the Clubhouse app , which is controversial under data protection law .


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