Wahl Digital 2017

eco Survey on Data Protection: Rigid Regulations Inhibit Innovation and Competition in Germany

  • eco Survey: 46% of company decision-makers think that German companies have a locational disadvantage due to data protection

  • Digital single market in Europe rather than patchwork data protection

  • Digital innovation in Germany is impeded by existing data protection regulations

Consistent data protection is the key to success for the European Internet industry. At the same time, it also strengthens the trust of citizens in the digital world and digital business models. A joint European data protection regulation is therefore a locational advantage in the competition for the digital markets of the future and is an important step for Europe. However, according to a recent representative survey carried out by the market research institute YouGov on behalf of eco – Association of the Internet industry in July 2017, 46 % of German company decision-makers are of the opinion that companies in Germany continue to face a competitive disadvantage in the digital world in comparison to other countries (e.g. England and the USA), as a result of the existing data protection regulations. 

Digital single market in Europe rather than patchwork data protection

Within Europe, the European General Data Protection Regulation already guarantees a high level of protection for the personal data of users. When the General Data Protection Regulation comes into force on 25 Mai 2018, the existing piecemeal nature blanket of differing data protection laws in the EU Member States will finally be done away with, and the competitive situation in the European single market will be improved permanently.

“We need this unified and balanced Europe-wide data protection regulation. The compromises negotiated in conjunction with the General Data Protection Regulation must not under any circumstances be put into question again through the ePrivacy Regulaiton,” says Oliver Süme, eco Director of Policy, Law & Regulations.

Digital innovation in Germany impeded by existing data protection regulations

It must remain the objective of politics to strengthen the trust of citizens in digital services. Modern data protection should create a balance between the self-determination of affected citizens and digital progress. So far, however, the digital innovation boom has yet to reach Germany. According to the eco survey, this could be as a result of innovative business models in the digital world often being impeded through prevailing data protection regulations in Germany. This is, at least, the attitude of 57% of the German company decision-makers surveyed.

Source:

“The data used are based on an online survey by YouGov Deutschland GmbH, in which 519 people took part between 14.07.2017 and 20.07.2017. The results were weighted according to the employment share for the company size and are representative for German company decision-makers according to the employment share for the company size.”

Further information on the topic can be found online on the new (German-language) eco website on Digital Policy www.eco-digitalpolitik.berlin.