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Future Mobility

Maritime navigation on wavering terrain

Digitization is playing an ever more important role even in maritime navigation. But major questions regarding data privacy and ownership are still unresolved. Now, recommendations for a stable legal framework have been put forth.

20 Feb. 2018 Dirk Bongardt
Source: Shutterstock
Source: Shutterstock

A "conclusive explanation of data usage rights," obligatory measures for data protection, and an obligation to report cyber security incidents are all part of the recommendations the German Council on Jurisdiction in Traffic (VGT) put together for lawmakers. Legal experts have explicitly advised against the government taking action alone, instead calling for a global overall concept, in line with the international character of maritime navigation. In addition, the experts have also recommended prompt setup of e-government in navigation, including the introduction of an electronic ship register, establishment of electronic ship and manning certificates as standard and approval of an electronic logbook.

Changes to navigational regulations are much more elaborate for legislators than most other legal changes, as almost all international arrangements and agreements are affected and an international consensus has to be reached before changes can take effect. In actuality, digitization has long played a role in maritime navigation – including self-navigating ships that are capable of optimizing their course with the help of machine learning.