- Hessian state government appoints Harald Summa, DE-CIX CEO and CEO of eco, to its newly-founded Council for Digital Ethics
- As voice of the Internet industry, eco Association takes on social responsibility for an ethically-oriented digitalization
Digitalization is fundamentally changing people’s private and working lives. The accompanying social change processes give rise to many ethical questions. For this reason, the Hessian state government has founded a Council for Digital Ethics, to which Harald Summa – CEO of the Internet Exchange DE-CIX and CEO of eco – Association of the Internet Industry – has now been appointed.
“Digitalization is permeating our entire world,” says Harald A. Summa. “Which means that companies from the Internet and digital industry are also in the focus of ethical debates. As the voice of the Internet industry, the eco Association is therefore taking on societal responsibility for ethically-oriented digitalization.”
Seizing Opportunities to Shape a Worthwhile Future Underpinned by Humanity and Solidarity
With self-regulatory approaches and initiatives such as the eco Complaints Office, the initiative for responsible email marketing (CSA), or the fragfinn.de search engine for children, the Internet industry is already successfully assuming responsibility in many ethical areas. Furthermore, the eco Competence Group New Work deals in particular with the digitalization of work environments, with the aim of increasing job satisfaction and ensuring sustainable productivity.
In eco’s view, ethical questions concerning digitalization processes and new technologies should be addressed through a dialog between politics, industry, academia, and society. “I was more than glad to accept the invitation to join the Council for Digital Ethics of the Hessian State Government,” says Summa. “Aside from hardware and software, successful digitalization always demands our ethical reflection. With the myriad of new digital possibilities and opportunities for individuals, values and morality must be the safety rails to keep society from going off track.” This being the case, eco welcomes the establishment of a committee of this nature by the Hessian state government, composed of representatives from the industry, academia, and society, and looks forward to the future-oriented, constructive, and open discussions on how digitalization can be shaped in order to bring people on board and to address their fears and hopes.
On 20 August 2018, at a cabinet meeting specially dedicated to the subject of digitalization, the Hessian state government decided to set up the Council for Digital Ethics with the aim of forming a think-tank to advise the state government in shaping its digitalization policy and to provide concrete information on the topics and challenges of a people-centered digitalization.