A New Day for GDPR Damages Claims in Germany?
Until now, damages claims awarded by German courts pursuant to Article 82 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – in particular, claims for non-material damages – have been relatively low. However, a more recent decision issued by the Federal Constitutional Court indicates that views in Germany may be evolving on this topic, and courts may soon be willing to entertain higher damages claims.
In a case decided in January 2021, Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court held that the issue of whether or not (and if so, the extent to which) a damages claim brought pursuant to Article 82 GDPR is subject to certain evidentiary requirements must be decided under European law and – if necessary – clarified by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).
If the CJEU continues to follow its data protection-friendly line of reasoning and pursue effective enforcement of data protection law, damages claims pursuant to Article 82 GDPR and legal proceedings based on such claims may become the new norm and much more important in the future.