"We are committed to being better in helping people understand how their information is used."
COO of Facebook
At a Davos reception hosted by CMS and the German newspaper DIE ZEIT, Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, and Christian Sewing, CEO of Deutsche Bank, spoke about their business challenges and the importance of trust and transparency.
Sandberg defended Facebook’s advertising business model saying, “We do not sell data… we use information to show relevant ads.” She acknowledged, however, that, “… we have not done a good job of explaining our business model. We are committed to being better in helping people understand how their information is used.”
Christian Sewing recounted what he first thought when he heard about the money laundering scandal at Danske Bank that captured headlines in 2018: “It’s disappointing, but you have 92,000 people who are working every day to restructure Deutsche Bank. We got the feedback from regulators that our controls have improved. And if you have this kind of incident, then you’re disappointed.”
Asked about his reaction to the accusations, Sewing went on to say that, “This is what you have to deal with, what leadership is all about. You collect yourself. You cooperate with the prosecutors. We think that there is no wrongdoing on our side.”
Success of online platforms
In his introduction at the CMS Davos event, Cornelius Brandi said, “Progress in technology is without doubt a positive development. However, we seem to have mixed feelings about online platforms – most likely because they have had, and will continue to have, a dramatic influence on human interactions.”
In a panel discussion, a group of experts agreed that platform businesses create significant value by facilitating transactions as intermediaries and by driving innovation. However, the panellists also thought that platform companies need to act responsibly, especially in regard to data protection.
The panellists urged lawmakers to think globally rather than locally when regulating digital businesses. Craig Dawson (Executive Partner, IBM Automation Platform Leader Europe), Olivier Grémillon (Vice President, Booking.com), Prof. Annabelle Gawer (Chaired Professor in Digital Economy, Surrey Business School; Director, Surrey Centre of Digital Economy) and Dóra Petrányi (Technology, Media & Communications Partner, CMS) participated in the discussion.
Looking to the future, Dóra Petrányi concluded, “Recent studies show that only 8% of companies will be able to maintain their business models if digitalisation continues at this pace. Regulators around the globe have the difficult task of finding the right balance between supporting innovation and enabling others to participate in the transformation. We have seen one good example in the recent encouragement of co-investment in the telecommunications infrastructure in Europe.”