German Chancellor Angel Merkel wants to ease the country’s “restrictive” data protection laws to allow internet companies to collect more users’ personal data.
“A principle of the data closeness, which we were guided by for many years, cannot be today used as a guiding idea for the development of the new products,” Merkel said during an IT conference in the German western city of Saarbruecken on Thursday, adding that this principle has already been pushed to the limit.
According to German media, Germany’s data protection regulations have been long based on two principles dubbed “data economy” and “avoidance of revealing data.” Both concepts stipulate that internet companies should only collect and store a minimum of the users’ personal data and use then only if required.
Now, Merkel demands a paradigm shift in Germany’s approach to data protection by saying that it concerns not only “prevention of excesses” in data use but also creation of “free space” for companies that facilitates the development of new digital products.
The Chancellor also warned that a newly issued European Union Data Protection Regulation that came into effect in May should not be interpreted and applied “too restrictively” at a national level, adding that could otherwise make “big data management impossible.”