Daimler organizes first specialist symposium on "Connected driving and Data Protection"

Daimler organizes first specialist symposium on "Connected driving and Data Protection"
September 2014
  • Self-determination, transparency and data security are central principles of data protection at Daimler
  • Data protection plays focal role already in conceptualization of connected services
Exchanging specialist knowledge, identifying trends and resolving open questions – with this intention Daimler seeks the public debate on data protection and enters into a dialog with its stakeholders. With the specialist symposium "Automobile on the data highway" the company is offering a new forum for an interdisciplinary, constructive and critical exchange of views on data protection. On September 18, more than 80 representatives of industry, science, associations, NGOs and regulatory authorities come together in Stuttgart to discuss the opportunities and challenges arising from connected and autonomous driving.
The symposium is opened by Dr. Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Integrity and Legal Affairs. In her keynote speech she emphasizes that the new technologies relieve driver workload and increase road traffic safety, but also raise new legal questions concerning the rights over data and liability, among others. Daimler is addressing these challenges. The company attaches great importance to ensure data protection and data security of networked vehicles. Dr. Hohmann-Dennhardt: "Maximum safety and high comfort while safeguarding data protection – we have our eyes on both. Because one thing is clear for us: Data protection is customer protection."
"Privacy by Design" as key aspect in research and development
During the morning, the central role of data protection in the conception of connected services is illustrated by experts from Daimler Research and Development in brief presentations and in open dialog with the symposium participants. Stephan Steinhauer, Head of Mercedes connect me, presents the new networked services such as Live Traffic, eCall, breakdown management and vehicle locator in "connect me". Peter Häußermann, Head of Telematics, and Ralf Lamberti, Head of User Interaction & Connected Car, present the world of Mercedes-Benz Apps and explain all the relevant security measures for the connected car. An outlook on the future is given in a brief presentation by Prof. Dr. Ralf Herrtwich, Head of Driver Assistance and Chassis Systems, who presents on the topic area "Autonomous driving and Event Data Recorder".
New challenges for politics and consumer protection
In the afternoon, the data protection design of intelligent traffic systems of the future, the so-called "Car-to-X" systems, is discussed by Peter Schaar, Chairman of the European Academy of Freedom of Information and Data Protection and former Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information. In his presentation, Professor Alexander Roßnagel who holds the chair for public law with a focus on technology and environmental law at the University of Kassel, explains the legal consequences of the connected car and elaborates on the question of how customers can decide over the use of their data. Klaus Müller, Executive director of the Federation of German Consumer Organisations, elaborates on data protection from the standpoint of consumer protection policy. After that, members of the German federal parliament discuss the new challenges for politics with the symposium participants.
Clear principles to safeguard data protection
There is a general consensus that good data protection is a key factor for the acceptance of connected and autonomous driving. Accordingly, Daimler supports the new developments with clear principles: Self-determination by the customer is in the forefront in the use of connected services. Customers must be able to decide for themselves whether they wish to pass on their data – either by consent or contractual agreement or by pressing a button.
This requires that the customer is well informed about when which data will be collected, and for what purpose. It must be transparent to the customer how the data processing works. The company provides comprehensive information about this through the use of different media.
The top standards of vehicle safety for which Daimler stands for apply in equal measure to the IT-specific risks of the connected car. Daimler protects its customers against manipulation and misuse of data required for vehicle communication systems. Data protection requires a continuous, active further development of data security in line with technical IT progress.
With the specialist symposium "Automobile on the data highway", Daimler seeks to make a contribution to the social debate on "connected driving and data protection" and to further the design of the necessary framework requirements. In its annual "Sustainability Dialog" in Stuttgart on November 12 - 13, 2014, the Stuttgart automotive manufacturer will continue the discussion with the various stakeholder groups.

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