Dialogue with citizens: Data protection as the highest good?

Who protects our data? Who decides what is private and whether there is a right to data ownership? These questions were discussed by Claudia Eckert from the Technical University of Munich and Jörn Müller-Quade from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) - both members of Plattform Lernende Systeme - on June 30th at acatech on Tuesday via Zoom with the guests who were connected. The event was held for the first time together with vhs.wissen live and the Bayerische Volkshochschulverband e. V.

Plattform members Jörn Müller-Quade, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Claudia Eckert, Technical University of Munich/Fraunhofer AISEC (middle row) in discussion with Klaus Mainzer, TU Munich (lower row). ©acatech

"We need more IT security and more data protection - everyone agrees on that," said Jörn Müller-Quade, holder of the Chair of Cryptography and Security at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), at the beginning of his keynote speech. This consensus leads to the fact that panel discussions on IT security are usually boring. Fundamental rights could well contradict each other - for example, the rights to data protection and health. This became very clear in the delayed development of the Corona App, according to Jörn Müller-Quade, head of the working group IT Security, Privacy, Legal and Ethical Framework of Plattform Lernende Systeme. He then mentioned various options which guarantee both the protection of personal data and functionality.

As a further example, Jörn Müller-Quade cited video surveillance. Although it can be very useful in the fight against crime, it can also violate privacy. There are solutions here too: For example, cameras could be installed that are intelligent and compliant with data protection laws by storing data in encrypted form and making it available only after a specific incident has occurred.

IT security as a common task

Security is a common task, each individual bears responsibility here, emphasized Claudia Eckert, holder of the Chair for IT Security at the TU Munich and Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied and Integrated Security AISEC, in her impulse. Based on currently familiar terms such as "hygiene measures", "prevention and quarantine", "vaccination and immunization" and "treatment", she gave an overview of what citizens, companies and politics can do to contribute to a comprehensive security culture. Claudia Eckert, a member of the IT Security, Privacy, Legal and Ethical Framework working group of the Plattform Lernende Systeme, advised consumers to take conscious safety hygiene - starting with protected password entry and secure passwords, through healthy caution with e-mail attachments, to well-considered social media use and switching off unneeded mobile phone services.

Companies should train their employees well with technology users in mind, but should also show caution in the allocation of rights and identity management, and carry out regular security updates. In addition, politics must play an exemplary role. It must also set minimum standards, create laws, test, certify and promote technology alternatives in order to strengthen sovereignty.

Klaus Mainzer (TU Munich), supported by Claus Lüdenbach (VHS Erding) and Christof Schulz (VHS SüdOst) led the discussion. The recording of the event is available here.

Further information:

Linda Treugut / Birgit Obermeier
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