Competence NOW: The DATA LITERACY CHARTA

It is an honour to be able to support this forward-looking Data Literacy Charter, initiated by the Stifterverband, as a first signatory together with the most competent representatives from politics, education, business and science.

Jochen Werne

DATA LITERACY CHARTA

Find all original information in German > HERE / please find below a translation for English speaking audience – created with DeepL.com

The Data Literacy Charter, initiated by the Stifterverband in January 2021 and supported by numerous professional societies, formulates a common understanding of data literacy and its importance for educational processes. The charter is in line with the Federal Government’s data strategy and with the Berlin Declaration on the Digital Society.

Author and authors:
Katharina Schüller, Henning Koch, Florian Rampelt


SUMMARY
Data literacy encompasses the data skills that are important for all people in a world shaped by digitalisation. It is an indispensable part of general education.

With the Data Literacy Charter, the signatories express the common understanding of data literacy in the sense of comprehensive data literacy and its importance in educational processes. This understanding is in line with the Federal Government’s data strategy and with the Berlin Declaration on the Digital Society.

Data literacy includes the skills to collect, manage, evaluate and apply data in a critical way. If data is to support decision-making processes, it needs competent answers to four fundamental questions:

What do I want to do with data? Data and data analysis are not an end in themselves, but serve a concrete application in the real world.
What can I do with data? Data sources and their quality as well as the state of technical and methodological developments open up possibilities and set limits.
What am I allowed to do with data? All legal rules of data use (e.g. data protection, copyrights and licensing issues) must always be considered.
What should I do with data? Because data is a valuable resource, a normative claim derives from it to use it for the benefit of individuals and society.
The supporters of the Charter see data literacy as a central competence of all people in the 21st century. It is the key to systematically transforming data into knowledge.

Data literacy enables people, businesses and scientific institutions, as well as governmental or civil society organisations,

to actively participate in the opportunities offered by data use;
deal confidently and responsibly with their own and other people’s data;
to use new drivers and technologies such as Big Data, Artificial Intelligence or Internet of Things to meet individual needs, address societal challenges and solve global problems.
Data literacy strengthens judgement, self-determination and a sense of responsibility and promotes the social and economic participation of all of us in a world shaped by digitalisation.

GUIDING PRINCIPLES
Five principles characterise the importance and role of data literacy as a key competence of the 21st century.

Data literacy must be accessible to all.
Data literacy serves to promote maturity in a modern digitalised world and is therefore important for all people – not only for specialists. The aim of teaching data literacy is to ensure that each individual and our society as a whole deal with data in a conscious and ethically sound manner. Data literacy enables successful and sustainable action that is based on evidence and that takes appropriate account of uncertainty and change in our living environment. We are therefore committed to ensuring that data literacy is taught broadly and can be acquired by all people.

Data literacy must be taught throughout life in all areas of education.
Data literacy must be anchored in all formal and non-formal education sectors and thus established as part of general education. To do this, we must continuously teach learners how data relates to their respective lifeworlds: Data are digital images of real phenomena, objects and processes – this applies to all fields of application. How to collect or procure, evaluate, apply and interpret data appropriately for the respective application must be systematically learned and practised. The basic concept of data literacy and its sub-areas therefore applies across the board, even if the level of competence imparted varies depending on the educational sector and level.
In concrete terms, this requires the inclusion of data literacy in the curricula and educational standards of schools, in the curricula of degree programmes and in teacher training programmes. Learners should not only be addressed as passive consumers of data. Rather, we want to enable them to actively shape data-related knowledge and decision-making. In order to make lifelong learning of data literacy possible, data literacy programmes for extracurricular and vocational training are also needed. We advocate developing and promoting these, for example, together with adult education centres or public libraries.

Data literacy must be taught as a transdisciplinary competence from three perspectives.
Data literacy involves three perspectives: the application-related (“What is to be done?”), the technical-methodical (“How is it to be done?”) and the social-cultural (“What is it to be done for?”). We therefore want to ensure that data literacy is taught from a trans- and interdisciplinary approach. This includes
● the application-oriented perspective (for example, applications from the natural and engineering sciences, economics, medicine, psychology, sociology, linguistics, media studies and many more),
the technical-methodological perspective (for example, from the perspective of statistics, mathematics, computer science and information science),
the socio-cultural perspective (for example, reflection on legal, ethnological, ethical, philosophical as well as inequality aspects)
● as well as the perspective of teaching (for example on the part of subject didactics and educational science).

Data literacy must systematically cover the entire process of knowledge and decision-making with data.
Data literacy ensures that answers to real problems are found with the help of data in a structured and qualitative way. Data literacy therefore includes the following areas of competence:
● Using and protecting data (ability and motivation to responsibly acquire, analyse, share and obtain appropriate data and information in the context of the task at hand).
Classify data and information derived from it (ability and motivation to contextualise and interpret data and information and to critically question learning systems, such as AI applications).
● Act in a data-supported manner (open-minded attitude towards data in the sense of a data culture including insight into the role of data for evidence-based action, ability to handle data with confidence including effective communication of data-based decisions).

Data literacy must comprise knowledge, skills and values for a conscious and ethically sound handling of data.
Data literacy comprises three competence dimensions that must be mapped in all three competence areas. Each competence area is characterised by
● specific knowledge (dimension “Knowledge”),
● the skills and abilities to apply this knowledge (dimension “Skills”) and
● by the willingness to do so, i.e. the corresponding value attitude (dimension “Values”).
Data ethics is a central component of a key competence and is reflected in all sub-areas of data literacy. This means that when data is collected, managed, evaluated and used in a critical way, ethical aspects play an important role throughout. Data ethics and values contribute significantly to ensuring that not only the right means are used to solve problems with the help of data, but above all that the right goals are pursued: Data should make a sustainable positive contribution to society and therefore be used responsibly, context-sensitively and with a view to possible future consequences.

The signatories of the Data Literacy Charter will take measures to disseminate this understanding of data literacy and to further strengthen the associated competences. They call on other actors to do the same in their sphere of influence.

The initial signatories
Institutions & Initiatives (in alphabetical order)

  • Bund Katholischer Unternehmer e.V. (BKU)
  • Deutsche Arbeitsgemeinschaft Statistik (DAGStat) mit ihren 14 Mitgliedsgesellschaften und dem Statistischen Bundesamt Destatis
  • Deutscher Volkshochschul-Verband (DVV)
  • Deutsche Statistische Gesellschaft (DStatG)
  • Digitalrat der Bundesregierung
  • Europäisches Wirtschaftsforum e.V. – EWiF Deutschland
  • Federation of European National Statistical Societies (FENStatS) mit ihren 27 Mitgliedsgesellschaften und der Europäischen Zentralbank
  • FernUniversität in Hagen
  • FOM Hochschule für Oekonomie & Management
  • Hochschulforum Digitalisierung
  • Initiative for Applied Artificial Intelligence by UnternehmerTUM
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), European Office
  • International Association for Statistical Education (IASE)
  • KI Bundesverband e.V.
  • KI-Campus – Die Lernplattform für Künstliche Intelligenz
  • Partnership in Statistics for the Development in the 21st Century (PARIS21) / OECD
  • RWI – Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung
  • Stifterverband
  • Technische Universität Dortmund
  • Weltethos-Institut | An-Institut der Universität Tübingen
     

Individuals (in alphabetical order)

Regina Ammicht Quinn, Dorothee Bär, Thomas K. Bauer, Manfred Bayer, Jörg Bienert, Felicitas Birkner, Vanessa Cann, Thomas M. Deserno, Roman Dumitrescu, Johanna Ebeling, Florian Ertz, Andrea Frank, Gerd Gigerenzer, Jessica Heesen, Ulrich Hemel, Norbert Henze, Burghard Hermeier, Wolfgang Heubisch, Oliver Janoschka, Johannes Jütting, Claudia Kirch, Volker Knittel, Henning Koch, Ralf Klinkenberg, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Alexander Knoth, Beate M. Kreiner, Sebastian Kuhn, Monique Lehky Hagen, Andreas Lenz, Andreas Liebl, Anna Masser, Volker Meyer-Guckel, Antje Michel, Ralf Münnich, Dominic Orr, Ada Pellert, Martin Rabanus, Walter J. Radermacher, Philipp Ramin, Florian Rampelt, Richard K. Frhr. v. Rheinbaben, Peter Rost, Philipp Schlunder, Harald Schöning, Katharina Schüller, Rainer Schwabe, Andrea Stich, Sascha Stowasser, Renata Suter, Georges-Simon Ulrich, Daniel Vorgrimler, Jochen Werne, Johannes Winter

The hallmark of an open society is that it promotes the unleashing of people’s critical faculties, and the Data Literacy Charter, in this best sense, promotes the much-needed creation of data literacy for all areas of our digital society

Jochen Werne

Publication: The crisis, our freedom and our money

Unlimited availability of our money and its ability to be used as a medium of exchange create certainty and lead to personal freedom. But which payment method is proving to be the most robust in any crisis? A reflection on the value of cash in a free society.

By Jochen Werne, Management Board member, Chief Development & Chief Visionary Officer (CDO/CVO) of Prosegur Cash Services Germany GmbH

In times when our life is being affected significantly by the effects of the situations like the COVID-19 pandemic, we become more aware of the basic needs in our lives. However, the COVID-19 crisis, which hits us globally so hard that we are even prepared to give up some of our civil rights and liberties guaranteed by the constitution, also reveals what certainty means and gives us and what we rely on in order to overcome a crisis and regain our freedom.
We live in a world of exponential leaps in technology – and the technological progress has traditionally always resulted in a global improvement in living standards. The international community can be rightly proud of its achievement of reducing the percentage of people who have to live in absolute poverty from 35% to 8% in the last 30 years thanks to global trade. However, it is in times of crisis that we see just how sustainable the goals that have been achieved are. Here prudent and decisive action from political and business leaders is called for. Confidence gained in people and instruments is the greatest asset in times of uncertainty.

Cash: always available

The same applies for payments. While the independent good work over decades of many central banks such as the Deutsche Bundesbank, the European Central Bank and the US Federal Reserve is making itself noticeable in the crisis and the citizens rely on the stability of the euro and US dollar, cash is also showing itself to be an anchor of confidence in uncertain times. With growing concerns due to the coronavirus, in the USA for example the volume of physical cash in circulation has increased. In the week before 25 March this increased by 1.8% to 1.86 trillion dollars in absolute figures. This represents the biggest weekly increase since December 1999, when the fear of the so-called Millennium Bug was the reason for the rise. As we see today, the technological meltdown did not happen. However, 20 years later we are now more aware than ever of the vulnerability of technology and that in times of crisis the value of certainty is always the greatest asset. The increase in demand for cash, including in Germany, at the start of the corona crisis is probably attributable to this legitimate need of citizens for certainty and their great confidence in cash. According to the Bundesbank, the volume on Monday 16 March alone, the first day upon which schools and nurseries were closed, was 0.7 billion euros above the average.

Electronic payment methods, which are essential in so many areas such as online trading for example, repeatedly risk a loss of confidence due to technical failures. One of the most recent of these incidents occurred during of all times the Christmas shopping period on 23 December 2019, when EC card payments were no longer accepted at many terminals. It is a little like the situation described by the Roman poet Ovid: “People are slow to claim confidence in undertakings of magnitude.” Most certainly our savings – the fruit of our labour – are of this magnitude for us. It is for this reason that the availability of our money is so important. If this availability were restricted, we would start to feel that we might no longer be able to access our money, and a bank run would most likely be the result.
It is not without reason that the “supply of cash” is expressly defined as a “critical service” in Section 7 of the Regulation on the Identification of Critical Infrastructures (BSI-Kritisverordnung – BSI-KritisV) of the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI). That is to say a “service to supply the general public […], the loss or impairment of which would result in significant supply shortages or risks to public security.”

Certainty in uncertain times

In the COVID-19 crisis, anxiety about health and the economic consequences of any crisis dominate our daily life. While fear is clearly caused by an external threat, anxiety is indeterminate. As the Greek stoic philosopher Epictetus wrote in his Enchiridion of stoic morals: “People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take of them.”
It was therefore also absolutely consistent that the World Health Organization (WHO), the European Central Bank, the Bundesbank and the Robert Koch Institute have been stressing repeatedly in the corona crisis that there is no documented case that would suggest there would be an increased virus risk due to the use of cash as opposed to card payment. They refer here to corresponding scientific studies and underline repeatedly that no information on such a risk has been documented.

Freedom established by the constitution

John Stuart Mill, one of the most successful liberal thinkers of the 19th century, defined freedom as the “first and strongest desire of human nature.” Accordingly, all governmental and social action must be directed towards granting the individual free development, while his freedom, as Mill formulates it in a principle known as the “principle of freedom,” may be limited under one condition: to protect himself or another person. Now, during a serious crisis, all citizens are forgoing some of their fundamental constitutional rights of freedom. This massive intervention is certainly consistent with Mills’ theory in this time of corona. In his novel The House of the Dead, Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky describes his own experiences of life in a Siberian prison camp and writes the subsequently oft-quoted sentence: “Money is coined liberty,” whereby he describes the vital relevance of a free exchange of goods in an environment where people are deprived of freedom – with cash in the form of coins.
Although not in the same way as Dostoevsky, we are also living in a time of extreme change: on a social, economic and political level. We are living in a time when, due to exponential technological developments, whole industries and business models are changing radically and countries are competing for supremacy in areas such as Artificial Intelligence (AI). It is a time in which transformation is the new norm and an agile corporate culture has to be the key to success. It is currently the case in many traditional industries that “anything that can be digitised, will be digitised.”
And inevitably this also raises the question of whether this is also the case for the first “instant payment” solution, one of the earliest and longest-lasting achievements of human civilisation – for our cash?
Our current free choice of payment method is certainly good, as long as we can choose freely as consumers the payment method appropriate for the respective situation. Discussions about the possible restriction of the freedom of choice of citizens regularly prompt intellectuals to issue warnings. For example, the poet Hans Magnus Enzensberger is of the opinion regarding the issue of “restriction”: “Those who abolish cash, abolish freedom.” This opinion is also shared by Carl-Ludwig Thiele, a former member of the Executive Board of the Deutsche Bundesbank: “Abolishing cash would hurt consumer sovereignty — the free choice of citizens about their payment instruments […] Government agencies do not have the right to tell citizens how they should pay.“

Technological vulnerability, fall-back option and data protection

Particularly in extreme scenarios such as disasters, failures of a digital infrastructure due to cyber attacks, natural events or simply due to technical failure, it is made clear that cash, by its nature, is currently the most robust payment method. The fact that the contactless payment limit has been increased without further ado, for example in supermarkets, at first sounds harmless. However, as a result, anyone can pay for higher-priced goods using a card, and it does not have to be their own card, without any further security checks such as entering a PIN. Everyone has to examine and question critically for themselves the possible consequences of such a payment method.
Also not to be disregarded is the issue of data protection. More cashless payments also mean more personal information disclosed by everyone. Data which numerous companies use for commercial purposes. At the latest since the introduction of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR), the sensitivity of the population of Europe with regard to data protection and privacy has been rising gradually.
Klaus Müller, Germany’s top consumer protector and Executive Director of the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (vzbv), describes cash as “data protection in practice”. Anyone who pays with cash does not leave any traces to create a consumer profile, purchasing and payment behaviour cannot be manipulated. Cash also helps to protect financial privacy. This was emphasised by Udo Di Fabio, who was a judge of the Federal Constitutional Court for twelve years, at the Cash Symposium 2018 hosted by Deutsche Bundesbank. He explained that every citizen can dispose freely of their money. In his view this freedom would be restricted if financial management were completely digitised.

Smart cash management alleviates the workload of banks

Crises such as the current corona pandemic always bring to light new approaches and act as accelerators of transformation processes that have already been set in motion. With regard to cash-related industries, the banking world has already been in a transformation process for some time. A company such as Prosegur, which, with over 4,000 employees and 31 branches, is a market leader in Germany in the transportation of cash and valuables, is increasingly becoming a full payment-platform provider. Several banks have already taken the path of fully outsourcing their cash management for synergy and cost-saving reasons. Here, cash processes are becoming not only much leaner, but also more cost-effective. This is the case not only for banks, but also for retail customers. With smart machines installed by Prosegur at its customers, cash can be disposed of directly and credited to the customer account on the same day. The smart infrastructure, including dynamic monitoring and forecasting, optimises the logistics and reduces costs in cash logistics. This is the next step towards an efficient, digital and integrated cash management.

Coined Liberty 2.0 and the justification for and rightfulness of cash

In view of the technological progress and the associated social changes, it can be seen that key values from the human perspective are still valid. Based on an intellectual, serious discussion, the relevance to today of the theories of for example Dostoevsky with his experiences in an unfree society is clear: The discussion about the civil rights and liberties of citizens is always very closely related to their ability to use cash freely, to their freedom of choice of payment method and ultimately to the rightfulness of their actions with regards also to effiency and impact.
Our open and liberal society is characterised by the fact that we are discussing and most certainly will continue to discuss “Coined Liberty 2.0” at this level.


Prosegur Cash Services Germany GmbH, Kokkolastraße 5, 40882 Ratingen
Telephone: +49 2102 / 1248‐0, E‐mail: redaktion@prosegur.com, www.prosegur.de