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Deutsche Telekom restructures Data Privacy Advisory Board

-New strategic alignment of the Advisory Board
-Advisory Board to focus more on ethical and sociopolitical issues of data privacy
-New members are Susanne Dehmel, Yvonne Hofstetter, Prof. Gabi Dreo Rodosek, Prof. Dr. Gregor Thüsing, Axel Voss and Prof. Dr. Christiane Woopen


Deutsche Telekom is realigning the strategy and composition of its Data Privacy Advisory Board. “By doing so we aim to prepare ourselves better for the breathtaking pace of digitalization as it shapes our society,” explains Thomas Kremer, Member of the Board of Management responsible for Data Privacy, Legal Affairs and Compliance at Deutsche Telekom. The newly staffed Advisory Board has been meeting since February this year. The experts will increasingly focus on ethical issues. Innovations such as artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, robots and the Internet of Things are changing how we interact with machines. The legal framework is also being changed by new legislation including the European General Data Protection Regulation. “We would like to spend more time in the Data Privacy Advisory Board discussing the ethical consequences of digitalization. The aim is to help people better preserve their digital sovereignty,” Lothar Schröder, Advisory Board Chair and Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Telekom, says with regard to the Advisory Board’s new tasks.

Since the Data Privacy Advisory Board was set up in 2009, its work has focused on verifying internal processes and structures in respect of data privacy concerns. Deutsche Telekom adopted the Advisory Board’s recommendations without exception. The Advisory Board’s work still includes analyzing the company’s innovative products, services and business models that are relevant to data privacy. But the range of topics will also be broadened. For instance, by analyzing societal expectations of how telecommunications companies use personal data, assessing new national and international legal provisions governing data privacy and data security, and developing quality measures for customer and employee data privacy with digital business models. The Advisory Board also scrutinizes the effectiveness of anonymization and pseudonymization.

To address this broader range of issues, the staffing of the Data Privacy Advisory Board was restructured. More representatives from academia bolster the data privacy expertise in a society that is increasingly going digital.

Members of the Data Privacy Advisory Board include:
  • Susanne Dehmel, Member of the Executive Board for Law and Security, Bitkom e.V.
  • Peter Franck, Board member Wau Holland Foundation  
  • Prof. Hansjörg Geiger, adjunct professor of Constitutional Law at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main
  • Yvonne Hofstetter, lawyer and essayist
  • Prof. Gabi Dreo Rodosek, Chair for Communication Systems and Network Security at the Universität der Bundeswehr München
  • Peter Schaar, Chairman of the European Academy for Freedom of Information and Data Protection (EAID)
  • Lothar Schröder, member of the ver.di National Executive Board and Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Telekom AG
  • Prof. Dr. Gregor Thüsing, Director of the Institute for Labor Law and Social Security Law at the University of Bonn
  • Axel Voss, Member of the European Parliament
  • Prof. Peter Wedde, Professor of Labor Law and Law in the Information Society at the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences
  • Prof. Dr. Christiane Woopen, Professor of Ethics and Theory of Medicine at the University of Cologne

The members explained which challenges data privacy faces in times of digitalization in short statements during the constitutive meeting.

“I look forward to continuing the successful collaboration with the Data Privacy Advisory Board and to the new ideas and exciting discussions,” says Thomas Kremer. “My particular thanks go to the previous members whose numerous contributions have ensured that Deutsche Telekom is today the most trustworthy company in the industry. That is something we can build on.”

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