Product Responsibility

  • NfS: Customer Health and Safety
  • GRI 416
  • GRI 416-1

United Internet takes its responsibility to the environment and society seriously and has set two product responsibility priorities associated with its responsibility to customers. These are explained in more detail in the following.

Responsibility for Health

1&1 AG – Germany’s fourth network operator and a new entrant to the business – will be building an innovative 5G mobile network in the coming years. The company is basing this on a new, efficient network infrastructure – OpenRAN. In contrast to traditional network architectures, the OpenRAN approach makes a strict distinction between software and hardware. As a result, network intelligence no longer resides locally at the antenna but is fully virtualized in a private cloud. Not only does this innovative network infrastructure help ensure operators remain independent of the dominant Chinese network equipment manufacturers, it also avoids the need for costly upgrades and maintenance to the base stations.

We focus squarely on the benefit to our customers, and this applies in particular with respect to our new role as a network operator. 1&1 is working together with tower operators to build German’s fourth mobile network. As a result, it will largely use existing antenna locations, helping to protect the environment and reducing the resources required and the visual impact. We track the state of the art in mobile network usage – and particularly 5G – continuously and closely.

  • NfS: Risk Prevention

Scientists have been investigating the electromagnetic radiation produced by mobile networks for decades now, and its effects on humans have been thoroughly researched in numerous studies. The Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz (the Federal Office for Radiation Protection) has confirmed that at present there is no reliable information to suggest that the new mobile network standard could affect our health. For 5G, as for previous mobile network standards, the basic principle is that no impact on health at levels below the applicable limits has been proven.

The Federal Government is also attempting to deepen dialog with citizens and address any concerns relating to the new mobile network standard with its “Deutschland spricht über 5G” initiative (German only). The aim is to provide information on the risks, challenges, and opportunities associated with 5G in a trustworthy and even-handed manner in online discussions, chats, and articles with the goal being to further increase trust in, and acceptance of, this forward-looking technology. Among other things, the initiative is looking at sustainability aspects such as the potential for cutting carbon emissions, since 5G uses less electricity.

United Internet will continue its close tracking of research on mobile network usage, and will respond in a responsible manner should any actions become necessary.

Responsibility for Youth Protection

  • NfS: Respect for Human Rights
  • GRI 417-1

As a company, we are not just responsible for customer satisfaction, but also for those customers and internet users who still need to learn how to use our products and services. In line with this, we advocate youth protection and educating people on how they should act online.

  • NfS: Risk Prevention

The internet is a key part of children’s and young people’s everyday lives, be it for communication, researching lessons, or entertainment. However, these groups are often not media literate enough to deal with unfamiliar life issues they come across on the internet, or where inappropriate content is involved, and they lack the experience needed to assess the risks and protect themselves. Therefore, depending on their level of development, suitable measures and education on possible dangers and risks are needed to ensure they are adequately protected and that they can use the internet with confidence. We are aware that we share this responsibility as a provider of internet and telecommunications services.

In line with this, United Internet ensures that both its own products and services and its partner offerings comply with the legal requirements for youth protection. Internal reviews are performed during product development and launches, and any necessary modifications are made, to prevent children and young people being confronted with inappropriate content. In addition, we take care to comply with youth protection legislation for both editorial content and advertising, and to find the right balance between providing a comprehensive range of information and ensuring we live up to our responsibility towards children and young people. Among other things, we do this by managing the way in which information is presented and the times at which it is transmitted.

See our guideslines on the United Internet Media Website.

We have appointed youth protection officers who act as the point of contact for youth protection. They advise the various departments and functions internally, handle external contacts in this area, liaise regularly with other youth protection officers, and represent Group companies in their dealings with associations and supervisory authorities. In addition, youth protection mailboxes have been set up for the IONOS, 1&1, GMX, and WEB.DE portals; the details are given in the legal notices and youth protection sections of the relevant sites. These mailboxes allow people outside the organization to contact the youth protection officers and the Youth Protection Team at any time with questions or complaints.

Above and beyond this contact information, the portals’ youth protection sections provide information and tips and tricks designed to educate children, young people, and their parents, and to improve their media literacy. The material provided includes links to youth protection programs and information about counseling services and contacts for specific topics and problems associated with internet usage.