December 2019 - Digital Ethics

Trusted Transactions

Member of the eco Association Presidency Committee Stefanie Kemp reports on the state of trust in online services and its impact on business.

Trusted Transactions

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dotmagazine: Ms Kemp, you moderated a panel session at the Internet Governance Forum in Berlin in November 2019. Could you tell us a bit about it?

Stefanie Kemp: The panel focused on how to use the Internet in a secure and safe way. It was all about secure transactions and a secure net, in terms of working with the Internet in whichever context – on the business side, etc. So overall, there are a lot of initiatives across the world which are dealing with how we can get back trust in transactions, because breaches are increasing, cyber crime is increasing, and people are becoming more hesitant to use the Internet, rather than really trying to scale it up and to use it intensively for business purposes.

This is why the IGF asked for several views and perspectives on this panel. In my panel, I had participants from all regions, from different businesses, also from official associations which are trying to have an impact on government and governance rules, in order to find a kind of a common regulation scenario.

dot: And did you find that people from different parts of the world had the same problems or were there differences from different places? 

Kemp: No. They all have the same problem. It's completely independent of regions and independent of the type of business. Whenever people are trying to use the Internet and do business online, you will find cyber breaches and cyber crimes everywhere that are trying to extract data. It's exactly the same everywhere. 

dot: So what was the conclusion of the participants in the panel? How do you restore trust in secure transactions? 

Kemp: There are attempts to restore trust in the society in terms of finding best practices. As you can see, we have hundreds of different initiatives from different associations or industries which are trying to find a way to create more trust, security, and safety in online business. And the conclusion and my final question was, “Do you strongly believe that you need to have a common regulation and more controlling mechanisms and monitoring across online business?”. And they agreed that, yes, it is necessary. But they went on to say that this has to be handled carefully, without a reduction in the functionality of online businesses. Because if you have over-regulation, it could create an even greater problem.

dot: So does that mean that the IGF, for example, would be a place to deal with this kind of regulation? 

Kemp: It's an intention of the forum. I think the IGF is more or less about sharing experiences, trying to find best practices, and out of that to find some boundaries or frameworks. And it’s not real regulation, it's more a recommendation.

dot: Was there one particular best practice that you thought was particularly interesting? 

Kemp: Honestly speaking, there were examples of establishing some kind of security operation centers, finding specific technologies, and using artificial intelligence and robotics on specific processes. I saw a bunch of good best practice cases which could be a good basis for further development. I wouldn’t say they will be applicable for all regions or all industries, but an excellent starting point.


Stefanie Kemp, born in 1963 in Düsseldorf, started her professional career in the healthcare industry. Nearly 30 years ago she stepped into the IT industry. After 10 years on the supplier side she switched in 2002 onto the user side. Stefanie worked for the HypoVereinsbank, Thomas Cook, and in 2006 she was announced as the Group CIO at the Vorwerk Group. In 2011, she won the "Global Exchange Award" and the "CIO of the Year".

In 2013, Stefanie entered the RWE Group as IT Governance, CIO Office and Head of Strategic Projects. Aside from her IT responsibility, in 2014 she acted as co-founder of the InnovationHUB@RWE, executive sponsor and lighthouse lead disruptive digitization, aside from establishing a digital factory. From 2014- 2016 she was a member of the digital advisory board to the digital economy of the Economics Ministry of North Rhine-Westphalia and a jury member of the Digital Leadership Award Germany. Currently she is a member and a mentor within the IWiL association founded in 2017 (Women into Leadership initiative) and since December 2018 she is a Member of the Presidency Committee of the eco Association. In March 2018, she entered the Lowell Group and took over the newly created field of transformation, innovation, and digitization. 

Please note: The opinions expressed in Industry Insights published by dotmagazine are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of the publisher, eco – Association of the Internet Industry.