eco on the German Federal Government’s Data Strategy: “More momentum with the data policy”

The new Data Strategy has been finalised by the German federal government and could be adopted by the cabinet today during the government meeting held in Meseberg. One year after the Digital Strategy was introduced, the long-anticipated Data Strategy is now also coming on board. In this context, the German federal government intends to formulate a roadmap for responsible and future-proof data usage for the coming years.

eco Chair of the Board Oliver Süme has the following to say:

“A uniform and legally secure handling of data is essential for all data-based business models, which is why the German federal government’s Data Strategy is long since overdue. While it’s good that some of the projects in the strategy have already been initiated – such as the Data Institute, the Federal Data Protection Act or the Mobility Data Act – we now urgently need more momentum in terms of data policy. The strategy at hand offers a fundamentally good framework for this.”

The Association of the Internet Industry also welcomes the fact that the strategy aims to establish a right to open data. However, this means that many of the relevant data access points will be distributed between the federal states and municipalities.

“Open data benefits society, the economy and democracy in equal measure. However, its immense potential can only be fully realised if legal uncertainties and inadequate provision are put to an end in practice. Above all, that’s why we need practical and manageable solutions to be able to truly implement the right to open data.”

It is also correct that artificial intelligence, as one of the most important use cases for data access, has been considered in the strategy. In this regard, the Association of the Internet Industry calls for research projects in particular to be supported, and for the application of large language models (LLMs) in public administration to be simplified: “Having the needs and requirements of LLMs for use in public authorities determined by the Advisory Centre for AI in Public Administration (BeKI) and the Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (BfDI) can be a real opportunity. However, when considering the intended promotion of sectoral data spaces, interoperability must also be taken into account: It is imperative that data can be used and integrated across sectoral borders.”

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