State Secretary Matthias Machnig has presented the White Paper on Digital Platforms at CeBIT. This is the first comprehensive set of rules for digital regulatory policy. After all, a digital single market with 500 million Europeans needs a uniform European legal framework.
Minister Zypries said: “Digitalisation is changing the way we work, live and communicate. This creates opportunities for growth, innovation and employment. We need digitalisation “made in Europe” and a common policy if we are to compete with Asia and America. The rules and values which have proved their worth in the analogue world must also apply in the digital world. Our White Paper on Digital Platforms states what needs to be done to ensure that the digital transformation is fair. For example, we want the same rules to govern telecoms firms as apply to companies like WhatsApp or Skype. We want easy-to-understand information, “one-pagers”, showing how search results or services are generated and how personal data are used on the internet. We want to provide incentives for a faster internet via an investment fund or ‘gigabit vouchers’ for small companies.”
The White Paper is the outcome of a long-lasting, comprehensive consultation process with the public, experts and representatives of business and trade unions, launched more than a year ago. Almost 65,000 visits to the online participation portal de.digital, 263 contributions and 10,464 assessments and 70 detailed comments were considered.