Interview with Identity Valley Research

Five questions for Identity Valley Research – TEAM-X consortium partner

Why are you involved in TEAM-X as a consortium partner?
TEAM-X aims to create a trustworthy digital ecosystem that people can rely on for their data usage in the future. With the Digital Responsibility Goals®, Identity Valley® represents an essential building block in the TEAM-X ecosystem. With our target image – the 7 Digital Responsibility Goals® – we provide a value framework and make this and the responsible actions of all those involved in the development process of digital solutions measurable and thus verifiable for the first time through a Digital Responsibility Goals Index. The trustworthiness of digital technologies is based first and foremost on transparency, which we have not yet seen in the digital world. The cooperation with the different consortium partners as well as with the entire GAIA-X community is an absolute enrichment for us and an excellent opportunity to research and prove our approach in the health and care sector and to bring it into implementation.

What is your task?
Identity Valley worked with a panel of experts from academia, business and civil society to develop the Digital Responsibility Goals® (DRG), which were first published in summer 2021. These goals provide guidance for taking digital responsibility. They are similar to the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations for sustainability and social and economic development published in 2015, but now in a digital context that was not foreseeable in 2015.

We want to break down the abstraction of digital technologies and their trustworthiness so that citizens, patients, decision-makers and investors can make sufficiently informed decisions about which technical products or applications they want to use and to whom they grant access to their personal data. Within the framework of TEAM-X, we are testing DRG along the development chain from the conception of a technological idea to its implementation. The end result is a recognizable label that provides information about whether and to what degree a product is trustworthy. This transparency is unique and could provide a decisive competitive advantage for Germany and Europe.

What are the biggest challenges?
TEAM-X is our first major research project. As a young nonprofit organization, we are learning almost by the hour. Nevertheless, the challenge ultimately lies in the interaction, the communication of all those involved, and overall the right timing: Just like the individual trades in a house construction, the different project components in TEAM-X build on each other. In this context, it is necessary to determine the right time when the trust component comes into play in the development of technical solutions and must be considered accordingly. The DRGs are based on guiding criteria that must be met in order to satisfy the requirement of trustworthiness. The developing entities must undergo an assessment to determine how trustworthy their product is. We have to keep in mind that trust must have a standard that is just as high as the technical solution itself, because only then does it have a high value for users in the Gaia-X understanding. To be able to show this in a simple and transparent way is something we are very happy to work on in TEAM-X.

What are the benefits of a Gaia-X compliant data room?
Gaia-X aims to create ecosystems that enable interoperability and fair exchange of data between companies or organizations based on high data protection standards. This is not only a significant digital advance, but also a social quantum leap, as it opens up the market on the basis of trusting cooperation and ensures high efficiency in fair competition. Gaia-X thus creates a blueprint from Europe that can lead to the protection of data and thus the rights of citizens worldwide, while at the same time establishing a fair and interesting data market for companies and organizations. In the best case scenario, existing markets will be stimulated to adapt their practices to become more people-centric and to meet higher data protection standards.

What inspires you about Gaia-X?
What is special about Gaia-X is that many different stakeholders come together here and – thanks to the excellent accompanying research by the Gaia-X Hub Germany and the eco association – cross-sector players find each other and learn from each other. Ultimately, the data sovereignty of citizens to decide for themselves what happens with their data is paramount. The fact that people retain control over their own data is what particularly excites us about Gaia-X and what we want to contribute to in particular with our approach, the Digital Responsibility Goals®.