DSGVO: Jump-start for a new Internet?

When the DSGVO announced two years ago that German companies were overburdened and many US data service providers could not predict the consequences of the impact on the European markets, the entrepreneur Jürgen Litz from Konstanz went on the offensive.

Knowing that the associated changes would pose immense challenges for small and medium-sized companies in particular, the managing director of the CRM provider cobra decided to set up a DSGVO-compliant platform for its customers.

Litz sees criticism of the implementation of the DSGVO as absolutely justified. He never tires of pointing out opportunities. I exchanged with him.

The GDPR as a global admonisher

Jürgen Litz: The DSGVO is not only gravediggers for companies that have not taken privacy quite seriously. One hardly believes it: The DSGVO can also be midwife and export product. If you believe the mirror, then the Silicon Valley state has chosen the DSGVO as a model for their own optimizations of data protection – and that against the resistance of many Silicon Valley companies. Maybe some Californians in DSGVO see something we do not see. The DSGVO could come into play on an even larger scale. It could support efforts to create a new internet and higher data sovereignty.


John Ceh: The GDPR is perceived as a global admonisher for the sensitive handling of data.

Jürgen Litz: Even hit radio FFH reported on the end of Google Plus: Google Plus as Walking Dead is now really dead and the gravediggers were just in addition to their own failures and mishaps certainly the world’s increased efforts to regulate data protection. So the DSGVO already has its effects, also against the data ill.

Also interesting: Google concealed data breach – now determined the data protection officer

The project Solid

Johannes Ceh: With his project Solid, web inventor Tim Berners-Lee wants to break up the data silos of the GAFA. Is this realistic?

Jürgen Litz: The idea is good and the claim anyway, as reported by internet veteran Tim Cole in his next book “Wild Wild Web” in detail how the robber barons of the present similar to the robber barons of the Wild West their quasi-monopoly gains against the interests of the general public realize. Unfortunately there are currently too few “real projects in the wild” about Solid. In the worst case, a new island landscape of short-lived hopes and blessings is created, but never creates the necessary scaling.

John Ceh: How does the DSGVO now help with the search for a “new internet” in the direction of solid ideas or against the silos for a new data sovereignty?

Jürgen Litz: The GDPR has a potentially powerful article, Article 20. It grants data subjects the right to obtain the personal data they have provided to a company in a structured, common and machine-readable format, contrary to the Lockin effect. That gives hope.

John Ceh: What does it take to use the potential?

Jürgen Litz: It is still unclear what is meant by a structured, common and machine-readable format. The right to data portability is therefore a toothless tiger or dull sword, as long as no standards or a standardized exchange format and standardized API exist.

John Ceh: Article 20 and data portability. Is that enough against the GAFA?

Jürgen Litz: It requires, in addition to Article 20 common standards and an additional ecosystem of intermediaries, personal information management system, alternative platforms and aggregators to at least a little break the silos and the free flow of data in the sense of the true data sovereign, the user, to enable. For this, politics must create the conditions. Then we would not have to wait for Solid’s resounding success to overcome lockin effects and at least partially gain more data sovereignty.

Also interesting: careful, camera!

Zaround author:Johannes Ceh supports companies in aligning digitization with customers and employees. He is a keynote speaker and consultant on new forms of collaboration and digital responsibility. After years at Sport1, SKY, Springer & Jacoby, BMW, Daimler, JungvonMatt and Ogilvy, he is currently writing a book about the “age of the customer” and the associated changes in companies.

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