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  • 2019 Corporate Responsibility Report

Providing the
know-how for
digital democracy

Digital democracy means being able to shape and influence with the click of a mouse, but these new opportunities also raise new questions. For example, how exactly does an online petition work? How do I recognize fake news and where can I find reliable, verified information? What is a filter bubble and how do I escape it? Deutsche Telekom’s “Media sure! But secure.” initiative combines a number of resources designed to promote online literacy and security.

sdg 4

Inclusive and equitable quality education

Our measures support the fourth goal of the United Nations Agenda 2030.

#DABEI-Geschichten –
interactive learning

Our “#DABEI-Geschichten” platform explains what digitalization does to us and how we can benefit from the opportunities it offers while also critically examining the risks involved. Topical issues relating to the vast expanses of the internet – from digital friendship and opinion making on the internet to the secrets of the darknet – are addressed in fun, fascinating learning modules that are easy to understand. The “Digital Democracy” learning module, for example, deals with digital phenomena from fake news to hate speech. It includes details on who to contact about hate speech on the web, and where to find information about factions and their agendas. People can keep clicking to independently explore the various topics in as much depth as they wish. Prepared workshops of differing lengths are available for groups of learners – not only in both English and German, but also in language that is easy to understand. They include suggestions for specific practical exercises to make joint learning a varied and entertaining experience.

Ten fascinating learning modules have been published on the “#DABEI-Geschichten” platform since the project started in 2018.

Project ideas for children and young people

The Teachtoday initiative also addresses codetermination on the web and how to actively shape society. Teachers and parents will find good ideas for introducing children and young people to this topic and many others. One example is a project that teaches students how to “duel” respectfully in an online debate.


Over six million people used our various media literacy programs in 2018 alone.

We Care – the digital magazine for sustainability

In addition to telling the story of an assassination that gave birth to democracy, the “My vote counts” issue of We Care also explains why Grandpa always reads two newspapers, why voting is the smartest form of protest, and what could happen if Europe collapses. It shows how everyone can effectively help shape politics on the web.

We Care

What shows the way?

If a breakthrough in technology changes our lives, we need to agree on a new set of rules. The new traffic regulations that were required when cars became widespread over 100 years ago are just one example. We also need new rules for the internet. These cannot be dictated by individuals. They must be established jointly. We are keen to contribute to this process. In the “Digital Responsibility” section of our corporate website, we discuss the challenges and opportunities of the digital world with experts. In 2018, we joined forces with the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection and five other companies as founding members of the Corporate Digital Responsibility initiative.

Digitalization as such is neither positive nor negative to start with, but neutral. It is up to us to shape it responsibly. The same applies to artificial intelligence. We were one of the first companies in the world to formulate self-binding guiding principles on the ethical use of artificial intelligence. And because we are aware that this can only be the first step, we are continuously refining these guidelines in consultation with experts and stakeholders.



Industry, innovation, and infrastructure

Our network expansion measures support the ninth goal of the United Nations Agenda 2030.

The starting point: secure access for all

If everyone is to be able to actively shape democracy on an equal footing, they need internet access. For a number of years now, we have been investing huge sums in expanding the network for this very reason. We already operate the largest fiber-optic network in Europe, covering a length of 500,000 kilometers in Germany alone. In addition to the further expansion of this network, we are also investing in the widest possible LTE coverage. In 2018, 98 percent of the German population could use LTE – and we are aiming to increase this to 99 percent by 2020. We are also working hard on rolling out the new, super-fast 5G standard.

Technical access is not the only vital aspect when it comes to strengthening digital democracy. People also need to have confidence in the security of systems and the protection of sensitive data. No one can offer one hundred percent security, but we at Deutsche Telekom do everything we can to ensure our customers’ data is in safe hands with us. Our infrastructure and, consequently, our customers’ data are protected by state-of-the-art cyber defense measures, and we ensure high data protection standards based on clear rules throughout the company.

A clear stance -


According to the latest D21-Digital-Index study, some 13 million people in Germany are in digital no man’s land. They feel overwhelmed and even left behind by the pace of digitalization. We want to bring everyone into the digital society if possible. Everyone should have access to the diverse opportunities offered by digitalization. No one should be excluded. We enable people to have a stake in the digital world via our products and services. The best possible network is the basis for this, which is why we are tirelessly driving forward network expansion. In March 2019, we initiated our #TAKEPART campaign to underline the importance of digital equality to Deutsche Telekom. The year-round special offers forming part of this campaign give everyone the chance to gain access to the digital world. “Life is for sharing” – but to experience how, you first have to take part. Further information (in German) is available at