Secure Digital Infrastructures: Majority of Users Prefer Domestic Data Storage

Civey Survey: 70% of respondents call on State to strengthen digital infrastructures

From 9th to 11th October 2018, experts and companies from all over the world will be exchanging views and experiences on new solutions and issues relating to IT and Internet security at it-sa – the largest European trade fair for IT security. eco – Association of the Internet Industry and the Alliance for the Strengthening of Digital Infrastructures point out in this context that Internet security already starts at its foundations: namely, with data centers and other operators of digital infrastructures.

“High-performance and above all secure digital infrastructures form the backbone of Germany’s success in terms of its digital transformation and are an important locational factor,” says Béla Waldhauser, Spokesperson for the Alliance for Strengthening Digital Infrastructures. The question of whether a data center and the data hosted there are located in Germany is of great importance for digital self-determination. In crisis situations, for example, physical access to data centers must also be possible.

Civey survey: majority of users have confidence in domestic data centers

A majority of Internet users also regard data centers in Germany as essential for digital self-determination. More than half of the population (54.7 %) prefer to entrust their data to companies if it is stored on domestic servers, according to a recent representative survey of the population, conducted by the opinion research institute Civey on behalf of the Alliance for Strengthening Digital Infrastructures.

According to the survey, around 65 % of Germans consider it a very important economic factor to keep digital infrastructures (e.g. data centers) in Germany.

Around 70 % of those surveyed also believe that the State should support the operation of digital infrastructures such as data centers more strongly than has been the case until now. More than 40 % go so far as to say that “much stronger” support is needed in this area.

New Borderstep study verifies: Data centers in Germany require better political framework conditions

Considering their economic importance for Germany, operators of digital infrastructure here are currently not afforded adequate political support and subsidization. Particularly in international comparison, the political framework conditions for digital infrastructure operators are suboptimal. This is the finding of a new study on the socio-economic opportunities and challenges of data centers and other operators of digital infrastructures in international competition, conducted by the Borderstep Institute on behalf of the Alliance for Strengthening Digital Infrastructures in Germany and eco – Association of the Internet Industry.

“In international comparison, Germany is in danger of falling behind,” says Béla Waldhauser. “Other countries have already recognized the importance of the sector and are actively creating the necessary framework conditions to remain attractive as a location into the future. In Germany, the topic of data centers remains almost completely unaddressed,” Waldhauser continues. An important competitive factor is, for example, electricity costs which, due to the EEG levy, are in some cases five times higher for data centers in Germany than in Scandinavian countries.

The competition for the location of data centers – especially hyperscale data centers – will increase in the future. While public administrations are dependent on data center operations in Germany due to legal requirements, private data centers can move abroad in order to escape the high electricity costs. “In the long run, this will happen at the expense of Germany as a digital location and at the expense of security for all Internet users,” warns Waldhauser.

Federal government must develop strategy for securing and expanding digital infrastructure in Germany

The Alliance for the Strengthening of Digital Infrastructures therefore calls on the federal government to finally recognize digital infrastructures in Germany as an industry location factor and to urgently develop a strategy for securing and expanding the digital infrastructure in Germany. This would include not only rapidly expanding the network infrastructure, but also measures for resource and energy efficiency and for combatting the shortage of skilled workers.

The ten political core demands and further information on the Alliance to Strengthen Digital Infrastructures are available online.

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