During the last months, Deutsche Post has been adamant on its position to ignore the De-Mail (implemented by 1&1, Telekom,
Mentana-Claimsoft) in favour of its own product called E-POSTBRIEF. This is about to change, according to a recent article by the FAZ.
The main reason for this was the proprietary identification method used by the Deutsche Post called PostIdent, which required a user to provide his ID card number and the issuing authority. If and how this method is about to change is currently unknown, but a PR representative of Deutsche Post hinted at fruitful negotiations regarding a De-Mail certification. This is quite significant for the German market in encrypted messaging, as it would boost the utility of De-Mail and make it the de-facto standard.
While interest levels among government agencies and big companies are on the rise, the reaction of private customers has been lacklustre: even with promotions and marketing 1&1 has only counted 170.000 private De-Mail accounts so far.
This is not due to lack of interest: we believe, that the De-Mail system is inherently flawed, with several critical drawbacks. A De-Mail does not offer end-to-end encryption, it is limited to to German users and each message is priced at 39 cents.
While we understand that providing secure messaging costs money that cannot be recouped via advertising, we do not believe that pay-per-message is a viable proposition in an era that is characterised by unlimited text packages, WhatsApp, and email.
We are furthermore highly concerned that this method has caused several debatable changes to the German privacy and data security laws: instead of creating an online equivalent to the ‘end-to-end’ security of a regular letter, the responsible parties have chosen to lower the legal standards and disregard end-to-end encryption as a crucial practice in the transmission of sensitive documents.
All links in German.