Safer Internet Day 2017 BERLIN
Just in time for the Valentine’s Day, the Safer Internet Day 2017 took place in the Umweltforum of the Auferstehungskirche in Berlin. This year’s topic – rather unromantic – was “Smart Home – How digital do we want to live?”. The organizer of the event was Bitkom in cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV).
After the welcome of Heiko Maas, the Federal Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection, and Dr. Bernhard Rohleder, CEO Bitkom e.V., many interesting lectures and panel discussions were held, subjects around Smart Home. It quickly became apparent, that the connection of things, even in our own homes, has developed immensely in the last few years and will still continue. This leads to many controversies and deliberations. The most important topics include data security, data usage and data protection, since privacy is an important asset.
Smart Home is a topic which also deals with the psychology of human beings. How far am I willing that electrical equipment and systems are entering my daily life? How much data should be collected about my life? Which providers can I trust? Why is everything so complicated? Questions mentioned by lecturers, e.g. business expert, author or journalist, on the stage.
The digitalization is becoming more and more common in our lives, but is it desirable to use every possibility to connect everything? Regarding that question, Heiko Maas mentioned a good example. Do you always (!) want to turn on the loudspeaker if you are entering the bathroom? Would you always like to be sounded with music if you only want to visit the loo?
Data were collected, accumulations occur, motion profiles can be created. The possibilities to use data are almost infinite. But is our privacy disappearing by the digital grasping of our daily life? How secure is my data?
Data is often communicated in systems via third parties which means a loss of control. People are getting more transparent and the question of whether we decide for ourselves or just an algorithm is getting closer to conscience. But can I escape this process? Is there an alternative solution?
Yes, there are still some of them. But alternative solutions are disappearing more and more. Is there a pressure to use smart things? Good data means participation, bad data means non-participation, as Heiko Maas explained in the introduction. Do I no longer exist if I stop producing data? Is the equation “no data = no existence” right?
A difficult questions which is difficult to answer. It is a fact that it is getting harder by time to escape the digitalization. The society is going with the innovation, it has always been like this. But each individual, should be able to decide for himself what he “needs”. For this, alternative solutions – analogous solutions in contrast to digital solutions – should be offered if one decides to live without digital and optimized ways.
The security of data is a major obstacle which seems to be a German phenomenon. Because other countries, such as Canada, seem to be less concerned about their data security, as argued by an employee of Frauenhofer in the panel discussion.
Data protection, which affects the good of privacy, should be made up of three principles:
1. “Less is more.”
2. “Anonymous data is just as productive.”
3. “Data must be deleted immediately if it is no longer needed.”
How are these principles implemented by companies? What is really in the GTC? What do I have to do as a consumer?
At the moment, as a consumer, you have to be very self-aware when you want to protect your data and, thus, your privacy. You have to deal consciously with the internet, and with smart and networked things. IoT (Internet of Things) is developing more security standards and the tangle of terms, which equates to study legal science, is further simplified by the Federal of Consumer Protection.
Nevertheless, if you want to be innovative, you should pay attention on the possibilities! The Internet of Things and the creation of smart devices allows new possibilities in almost all areas and for all ages.
Smart Home offers new opportunities in many areas. In this way, people who are in need of care can receive better care, people with disabilities can keep parts of their independence, children can learn better and faster, safety systems warn of dangers at an early stage. Experience and new technologies can save time to make life easier and more comfortable. Cut the long story short: support in the whole house on all floors.
All in all, in the end everyone decides for themselves whether and how much he wants to produce data. Nevertheless, one should also think about alternative solutions for people who want to have less or no part in the digitalization, in order to not put them under a social constraint. Digitalization goes forward.
In spirit of cool and wireless innovations, it should still be possible to send analog love letters for Valentine’s Day by post.