Merkel urges Germans to put aside fear of big data

Germans need to overcome their traditional fear of the large-scale collection of personal data by companies and instead embrace its opportunities or risk being marginalised in the global economy, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday.

In a marked shift in tone by Germany, one of the most vocal critics of the practises of U.S. web giants such as Google, Merkel urged the so-called Mittelstand of family-owned companies in particular not to be left behind.

“As anything but a digital native, rather in the best case a beginner digital migrant, I know what it means to have to adapt to this new world at an advanced stage of life,” Merkel, 60, told a conference of business leaders in Berlin.

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