In this article you will read about,
- why social service data must be particularly well protected,
- how Telekom meets this requirement with its commitment to maintaining social service data secrecy,
- and why social service providers can use the Open Telekom Cloud without hesitation.
In order for social service agencies such as the providers of statutory health insurance, pension insurance, long-term care insurance, as well as employment and social welfare offices, to be able to do their work, they need to collect a lot of personal and sometimes sensitive data from those being insured. Social service providers collect personal data such as name, address, and date of birth, but also information such as pension insurance or tax identification number, in order to be able to provide their services properly. This is so-called social service data. This is the personal data of individuals that the legislator classifies as particularly worthy of protection and that therefore falls under social service data secrecy, according to Section 35 of the German Social Code I (§ 35 SGB I). "The laws stipulate that social insurance providers may only process the personal data stored and processed by them within a very narrow and purpose-bound framework and must protect this data by taking correspondingly high technical and organizational measures," says Antje Rom, a specialist in-house lawyer at Deutsche Telekom. They must protect the sensitive information from unauthorized access and misuse in the course of data processing and may only disclose it to authorized persons.
Obligation to maintain social service data secrecy according to Section 35 SGB I
If, for example, a statutory health insurance provider or a social insurance agency wants to host such information in an external cloud solution, this is not straightforward. "The IT service provider and its subcontractors must not only comply with the strict requirements of the German Social Code (SGB) and the GDPR, but also fulfill the obligation to maintain social service data secrecy if they process the personal data of individuals in the course of their services," says Antje Rom. In order to implement the data processing guidelines in compliance with the law, social service providers must take many legal as well as technical precautions. But individual agreements, contract adjustments, and lengthy coordination processes cost time and slow down digitalization plans. For this reason, the Open Telekom Cloud will be the first Telekom cloud portfolio to include the obligation to maintain social service data secrecy in accordance with Section 35 of the German Social Code (§ 35 SGB I) as standard in all contracts with immediate effect. In return, Telekom, including all subcontractors involved in the service, will commit to maintaining social service data secrecy throughout the company.
Secure foundation for digitalization processes
"The standard social data secrecy obligation for employees and service providers operating on the Open Telekom Cloud means that those providing social benefits can use the Open Telekom Cloud to host data covered by social service data secrecy in the cloud without any contractual adjustments or legal coordination," says Antje Rom. This gives insurers and public authorities a flexible, GDPR-compliant, and secure basis for their digitalization processes. To meet the high data protection requirements of laws, case law, and regulatory recommendations in the public administration, healthcare, and insurance sectors, Telekom hosts the Open Telekom Cloud exclusively in European data centers that are among the most secure and modern of their kind. This ensures that data processing only takes place within the European Union and that customers can take full advantage of the cloud's performance.
Cloud increases speed and flexibility
In addition to meeting high data protection requirements and using state-of-the-art services, the cloud offers further advantages. An adaptable IT infrastructure is essential for responding quickly and as needed to new requirements and unforeseeable events. The cloud offers social service providers a reliable and flexible basis for absorbing spontaneous peak loads without having to permanently reserve IT resources. This cuts costs and makes it easier to provide digital services to customers. But employees also benefit. With the cloud, government agencies and insurance providers can roll out the technological basis for digital processes and modern forms of work within a very short time. The result: increased efficiency, better customer centricity and increased value creation.
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