Telekom setting framework for responsible digitalization


Which ethical guidelines should be taken into consideration when developing artificial intelligence? How will digital services become convenient and secure for citizens? What contribution can digitalization make to protect the climate? And what can we do to reduce the impacts caused in connection with our activities such as electronic waste? Deutsche Telekom is facing up to these questions and how to answer them with its newly drafted definition of digital responsibility.

With its “Corporate Digital Responsibility@Deutsche Telekom” document, Deutsche Telekom has drafted a guidance for actively dealing with the various impacts of digitalization. By doing this, Deutsche Telekom wants to tackle the challenges posed by digitalization and, together with its partners, shape the future.

“In many cases, corporate responsibility means digital responsibility. Data protection, climate protection, the future of work – all this and more will be shaped by digitalization. Deutsche Telekom has a position on this. We stand for innovation and progress. We are digital optimists. We don’t just naively trust technology, but we believe in technology that is there for the people. And that’s the basis for how we design it,” explains Timotheus Höttges, Chairman of the Board of Management of Deutsche Telekom.

The House of Digital Responsibility as the foundation

To ensure clear orientation, Deutsche Telekom has arranged the elements of Corporate Digital Responsibility (CDR) in the shape of a house. The human-centered technology approach is the core of the House of Digital Responsibility. Laws & regulations, human rights, as well as culture & values are the foundation of the house.

The house is protected by its roof which represents the principles of data privacy & security as well as transparency & dialog. Four action areas categorize the CDR activities to be developed within the framework set by these values, laws, and policies.

They are: Digital Ethics, Digital Participation, Future Work, and climate and resource protection. The document also contains an overview of Deutsche Telekom’s activities already in place that make a contribution to the topics of digital responsibility.

Building on previous elements

Since 2017, Deutsche Telekom has been taking a close look at the topic of responsible digitalization from different perspectives with the Digital Ethics initiative. The Group has also been committed to other CDR elements for a long time.

They include the interactions between digitalization and climate protection as well as the confident, secure participation in the digital world. The document now published entitled “Corporate Digital Responsibility@Deutsche Telekom” not only summarizes all of Deutsche Telekom’s activities in this context, it is also a clear demonstration of the Group’s commitment towards digital responsibility and dedication towards ethically sustainable and responsible actions as part of the digital transformation.

Development supported by the Deutsche Telekom competency community

The new CDR approach was developed within the Group by a competence community. Members from all Board of Management departments and from specialist units were involved in the development of the definition of digital responsibility.