Bitkom on the Federal Government's data strategy

Berlin, 30 August 2023 - The Federal Cabinet plans to adopt a data strategy today at its closed meeting in Meseberg. Dr Bernhard Rohleder, CEO of Bitkom, explains:

"Bitkom welcomes the fact that the government is adopting a new data strategy and thus fulfilling an important promise of the digital strategy at the halfway point of the legislative period. The particularly pronounced restrictions in Germany on the use of even non-sensitive data have so far been the biggest hurdle to the development and use of new technologies such as AI. The data strategy must initiate the urgently needed paradigm shift in the handling of data and remove these hurdles. We cannot afford to ignore the potential of data for solving societal challenges, but also for the deployment of new technologies such as AI. However, in Meseberg, the coalition only presented an updated set of specifications; almost all of the individual measures included are already listed in the digital strategy or in other places.

In addition to a roadmap of when which project is to be completed, a data strategy also needs concrete data management goals against which it can be measured. In the end, the data strategy will only be as good as it is dovetailed with other digital programmes. Data and AI, innovation policy and digitisation funding can only work together. 

This is also crucial for growth and prosperity because the importance of data for business is growing strongly. In a Bitkom survey from the spring, one in five companies in Germany (22 percent) expects data to contribute exclusively or very strongly to business success in two years' time. At the same time, around two thirds (64 percent) currently say that they are unable to use the potential of data at all or only to a limited extent."