Telekom completely stamps out De-Mail

It was launched as a secure e-mail for official mail and other important correspondence – De-Mail. But introduced 10 years ago, it never had the desired success. This has now had consequences.

Deutsche Telekom decided to discontinue De-Mail. In the years since its introduction in 2011, the e-mail system, which was advertised as particularly secure, never really caught on. Despite a major campaign by the German government, only a few users and authorities ended up using De-Mail. Deutsche Telekom even talks of losses in the hundreds of millions.

The idea behind De-Mail

According to the law, which the German government enacted in 2011 specifically to introduce De-Mail, it is intended to “ensure secure, confidential and verifiable business transactions for everyone on the Internet.” The creators promised an enormous simplification in communication for the end customer, for public authorities as well as financial offices. Sensitive documents such as contracts, tax certificates or account statements were to be sent and received by e-mail in a binding and legally secure manner, and the cumbersome process of sending and, if necessary, verifying documents by mail was to be eliminated. The secure mail service was also advertised in specially produced commercials:

For private users, De-Mail was even free of charge. Nevertheless, the expected boom failed to materialize. One reason for this was that large institutions sometimes referred to the service, but ended up answering inquiries by mail. One example is the German pension insurance company. Other institutions generally found it difficult to set up the service, even though De-Mail became mandatory for public authorities by law. At the beginning of 2021, Telekom CEO Tim Höttges even described De-Mail as a “dead horse” that no one had ever used.

The lack of cost-effectiveness is now the reason that Deutsche Telekom is discontinuing secure e-mail. This is reported by “Der Mirror,” referring to cancellation letters currently going out to public authorities and companies. According to the report, the mail system is to be discontinued at the end of 2022.

The importance of CC and BCC in e-mails

1&1 holds on to secure e-mail

Neben der Telekom bieten unter anderem auch die zu United Internet gehörenden Marken 1&1, GMX und web.de die De-Mail an. Laut Mirror werden derzeit Gespräche geführt, ob man den Kundenstamm der Deutschen Telekom nicht übernehmen könne. Man wolle Nutzern so eine “unterbrechungsfreie Fortführung ihrer De-Mail-Konten” ermöglichen, sagt Jan Oetjen, Geschäftsführer von web.de und GMX.

The outcome of the negotiations is uncertain, however. Telekom customers with a De-Mail account should therefore back up all important data in their mailbox before August 2022, as Telekom will then also delete all customer data along with the service.

Sources

  • Mirror
  • De-Mail law

Get the best tech stories on your smartphone with the free BUZZ app! Click here to download for your iPhone or Android phone.

Tags: