Manfred Reitenspiess, owner of, has provided extensive comments on the greenbook „Digital Platforms“ (Grünbuch „Digitale Plattformen“) as published by the German Government (we had pointed out the opportunity to contribute in „Digital Sovereignty - Participate! Contribute!). The received comments were summarised by the German Ministry of Economy and Energy BMWE. comments were cited a number of times and are completely available for download. In a follow-up step (beginning of 2017) a whitebook is to be published as a step toward a German digital agenda. The whitebook shall come up with specific recommendations and calls for action with respect to the evolution of digital platforms (see the official webpages of the BMWE).

Abstract of the Contributions

The digital transformation of the German society is under way. A detailed analysis and adequate actions are required to maintain social consensus AND at the same time profit from the positive impacts on economy and society overall. The greenbook and the resulting open discussion contribute strongly towards these seemingly conflicting goals.‘s detailed comments are based on a few, foundational assumptions:

  • The digital sovereignty of every person is a basic civil right to be evolved annd executed.
  • As the transformation of our society cannot be stopped, we have to shape it with respect to the economic, legal as well as social aspects.

The following core contributions are based on the above assumptions:

  • Digital business models are to be analyzed with an eye on their embedding into society. From an economicy perspective, hybrid business models are expected to become the key focus.
  • Personal sovereignty and integrity have to be extended to and assured in the digital environment (digital sovereignty).
  • Data will become the core driver of business potential. Only on a data market can consumers and producers profit of the value of data. Vice versa, the value of data and their costs are to be addressed in digital business models. Individualized data have a higher price tag than anonymized data.
  • Technical characteristics which are necessary for assuring an individual‘s digital sovereignty are mandatory in the implementation of digital business models. Without claiming completeness, anonymization, identity management, decentralization, privacy by design/default are foundational arechitectural elements. These characteristics must be proven before software modules can be used in production mode.
  • A Digital Agency should monitor the (software/data) markets and the proposed digital business models. In addition, it should support parlament and its elected representatives in the assessment of the potential and impacts of digitalization.