13.9.2015: Chancelor Merkel speaks: Data are Commodity

While Europe and probably the world is watching Germany regarding the refugees entering the EU and the reaction in particular of the German federal government, Frau Merkel expressed her opinion regarding 'data security' and -- what we call in German 'Industry 4.0' (Industrial Internet) at an conference of the Christian Democratic Partiy (to which she belongs to) [1], [2].

Interestingly, the term she referred to -- our -- data as 'commodity' (raw meterial). In computer science, we distinguish among 'master data' and 'transaction data'. The German Grand Jury has clearly expressed already back in 1983 that any 'personal' (i.e. per person trackable) data are proteced by means of Art 2 Abs 2 of the German 'Grundgesetz' [3].

'Data' are typically an artifact of any business transaction. Since the business is taken place between two parties -- the requestor and the offerer -- any 'data' they produce needs to stay private; cryptographical confidentiallity is required. The Internet what we know today respects this be means of the OpenSSL public key encryption scheme [4].

'Data' from public sources (in particular the minutes and decisions from public and elected organisation) on the other hand require transparency and public access, occasionally called 'liquid democracy'.

If 'data' are raw material however, they belong to somebody. And by the same token are a protected good as any property. If 'data' are a 'commodity' only they are public domain and they can be used without any protection and altered on demand for somebody's own sake.

To turn the tables, if I would request this for any other property, I would be called a communist, a socialist at least.

Is the 'Neuland' a socialist terrain, or perhaps demand the capitalists access to this 'terra incognita'?

Just asking.


[1] www.tagesspiegel.de/wirtschaft/digitalisierung-der-wirtschaft-merkel-daten-sind-der-rohstoff-der-zukunft/12312978.html
[2] www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/Merkel-mahnt-es-mit-dem-Datenschutz-nicht-zu-uebertreiben-2812931.html
[3] www.bmi.bund.de/DE/Themen/Gesellschaft-Verfassung/Datenschutz/Informationelle-Selbstbestimmung/informationelle-selbstbestimmung_node.html
[4] www.openssl.org