Issue #108, May 2019

   Interview: Data Privacy

Data Ethics
The tech industry's stance toward privacy took a dramatic turn this month. On April 30 Mark Zuckerberg opened Facebook's annual F8 Conference with a keynote. Behind him, displayed on a large screen in high resolution, a single sentence: "The future is private." Eight days later, Google's CEO, Sundar Pichai, published an op-ed in the New York Times titled "Privacy Should Not Be a Luxury" advocating for data privacy legislation in the US.

Europe and, specifically, Germany have emerged as the bulwarks in the fight for ethical data use. This month Google opened an engineering center focused on privacy in Munich. They join Facebook, which endowed a data ethics center at the Technical University of Munich in January.

The Director of that data ethics center, Dr. Christoph Lütge, is the subject of our interview. In this newsletter we also introduce three German startups approaching data ethics from different angles including holistic security and security for the cloud and the Internet of Things. Our feature article highlights the Bertelsmann's Stiftung's recently published Algo.Rules, which aim to ensure ethical norms make their way into algorithmic code.

"Over the past 20 years, billions of people have trusted Google with questions they wouldn't have asked their closest friends: How do you know if you're in love? Why isn't my baby sleeping? What is this weird rash on my arm?"  -From Google CEO Sundar Pichai's Op-Ed "Privacy Should Not Be a Luxury"

©Nils Schwarz
Data Pivacy: An Interview with Christoph Lütge

In January 2019 Facebook announced it would endow the Institute for Ethics in Artificial Intelligence at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) with $7.5 million over five years.

In an  interview with us, the Director of that Institute, Dr. Christoph Lütge, discusses data privacy, innovation vs. regulation, the relationship between industry and research, and more.

Fighting for Ethics in Algorithms

Though most of us don't realize it, algorithms have a powerful influence on our daily lives. In our   feature article  we highlight the research group on the "Ethics of Algorithms" at Germany's Bertelsmann Stiftung, which recently published a set of  rules aiming to  ensure ethical norms make their way into algorithmic code.

Security for the Internet of Things

From Fitbits to smart thermostats and connected cars, IoT is increasingly present in our lives. But for complex IoT ecosystems in which many parties use data collected by different devices, data security is a major hurdle.  German startup Ubirch has a solution.  More

Securing Data in the Cloud 

With sensitive data being stored online rather than on premise, the cloud comes with a unique set of characteristics that make it vulnerable. Frankfurt-based eperi GmBH is mitigating these risks. More

SaaS Security Solutions

Based in the Würzburg area of Germany, COREDINATE GmbH is a software company that specializes in cloud-based SaaS (software as a service) solutions for security services. More

DWIH Board Chair Kurt Becker with Nausher Khan, winner of the Falling Walls Lab hosted May 2 ©NathalieSchueller

June Events