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German State Secretary Rogall-Grothe sees hacking attacks increasing (Photo: Claus Dick)

HANOVER - The ties between the automotive and IT industries will get a major push from the introduction in Europe of eCall, a senior German government official said Thursday.

"At the latest with the firm introduction of eCall the connection of all cars with the internet can no longer be stopped," said Cornelia Rogall-Grothe. Rogall-Grothe is a state secretary in Germany's Interior Ministry tasked with all matters related to information technology. ECall, which is scheduled to become mandatory on new cars in 2015, is Europe's emergency calling system.

In an address to the automotiveIT Congress here, Rogall-Grothe warned that increased digitalization also harbors serious risks, including hacking attacks, which are increasing in frequency.

With regard to growing concerns about data privacy, the German government official called for the creation of a legal framework that can safeguard privacy and guarantee the confidentiality of private and business communities. This should be achieved without throwing up another barrier to the implementation of digital business models.

Rogall-Grothe said data protection laws should be rewritten on a European basis. Restoring or maintaining confidence in digital technologies can only be achieved through security measures.