Digital Responsibility

The “Digital Responsibility” chapter covers the material topics of data privacy, information security, and digital participation. In addition, we report voluntarily on the topics of product safety, and on data control and data sovereignty. These topics were not classified as material during the 2022 materiality analysis and therefore do not form part of our nonfinancial reporting.

Digitalization is transforming both the economy and society. Countless initiatives addressing the framework for digital transformation are currently arising at the political, civil society, and business levels. We are convinced of the need for everyone to be able to participate in the digitalization process. The internet and digitalization also play a key role in relation to respect for human rights. After all, topics such as freedom of opinion and information, the protection of privacy, and the right to participate in cultural life are now inextricably linked with the digital arena.

The Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) describes the threat from cyberspace as “higher than ever” (1) . We aim to ensure we live up to our responsibility to protect customer data and to address the process of digital transformation with all the new opportunities and risks that it offers by focusing squarely on our digital responsibility.

We aim to enable society to participate in the digitalization process, and to ensure that this can be done safely.

This creates new challenges that the Company needs to address, especially in the areas of data and information security. Our customers have over 27 million fee-based customer contracts and more than 40 million ad-financed free accounts with us, and trust us with the data for these. That is why guaranteeing strict security and systematically protecting customer data are part of our DNA. Data privacy and information security at our Group are aligned in all cases with the current requirements of, and strict standards applicable to, data privacy in Europe and Germany. In addition, we aim to enable society to participate in the digitalization process, and to ensure that this can be done safely.

In view of the importance and complexity of these topics, responsibility for them lies with the segment management boards. The measures and systems deployed to date in the “Digital Responsibility” area are described in more detail in the following sections. We intend to define new targets in fiscal year 2023 as part of our enhancement of our sustainability strategy, and to supplement them with relevant measures.

(1) Source: BSI report, The State of IT Security in Germany 2022, October 25, 2022 (German only)

Contribution to the SDGs

Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.

Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.