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Tag Archives for " Germany "

Amendments to the German Infection Protection Act interfere with privacy

On 23 March 2020 the Federal Cabinet adopted the Amendments to the Infection Protection Act, as proposed by the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG) which include measures that aim to slow down the infection rate of COVID-19 (‘Coronavirus’) and have an impact on the right to privacy.

The Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (‘BfDI’), Ulrich Kelber, criticised some of the Amendments as potentially excessive and not proven to be effective. In particular, the BfDI highlights that the Amendments contain extensive record obligations for the transport sector, and also lack the obligation to delete personal data recorded during the health crisis afterwards.

Source: Germany: Amendments to the Infection Protection Act interfere with “right to privacy quite significantly” | DataGuidance

Deutsche Telekom shares location data to fight Coronavirus

Deutsche Telekom wants to support the Robert Koch Institute in containing the coronavirus pandemic with cell phone data.

Therefore Deutsche Telekom provides RKI with customer data that can be used to track the movement of mobile phone users. For this purpose, the company is said to have already made part of its customer data accessible to the authority in an anonymous form.

Source: (7) How does the corona virus spread ?: RKI receives cell phone data from Deutsche Telekom – Wissen – Tagesspiegel

Facebook’s Tiny Privacy Fine Is a ‘Warning,’ Watchdog Says

Facebook Inc.’s German unit was handed a fine of 51,000 euros for failing to properly nominate a data protection officer for its local office, a penalty privacy regulators said should still serve as a “warning” to others.

While the punishment seems tiny for the social network giant, it targets the German unit and not the “billion-dollar parent company,” the data protection authority in Hamburg, Germany, said in its 2019 annual report published on Thursday.

Source: Facebook’s Tiny Privacy Fine Is a ‘Warning,’ Watchdog Says – Bloomberg

German Federal Supervisory Authority Launches Public Consultation on Anonymization

On February 10, 2020, Germany’s Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (BfDI) launched its first public consultation procedure.

The consultation invites comments on a position paper of the BfDI which addresses the anonymization of personal data under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), with a particular focus on the telecommunications sector (for example, the anonymization of location data in mobile networks).

Source: German Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information Launches Public Consultation on Anonymization

German court sides with consumer groups against Facebook data collection

Facebook has suffered a blow against its data collection practices in Europe, with a German court ruling some of the social media giant’s user terms.

Last week a Berlin Court ruled in favour of the Federation of German Consumer Organisations, known locally as VZBV, in its case against Facebook. VZBZ alleged the tech giant is violating GDPR’s “informed consent” requirements with its privacy settings and some of its terms and conditions.

Source: German court sides with consumer groups against Facebook data collection – Which-50

€114 Million in Fines Imposed by EU Authorities Under GDPR

New findings from DLA Piper show that 160,000 data breach notifications reported across 28 European Union Member States and data protection authorities have imposed €114 million in monetary fines under the GDPR for a wide range of infringements. Not all fines were related to data breach infringements, however.

In terms of the total value of fines issued by geographical region, France (€51m), Germany (€24.5m) and Austria (€18m) topped the rankings, whilst the Netherlands (40,647), Germany (37,636) and the UK (22,181) had the highest number of data breaches notified to regulators.

Source: €114m in Fines Imposed by Euro Authorities Under GDPR – Infosecurity Magazine

German Constitutional Court to hold hearing on surveillance powers of the “German NSA”, the BND

The Federal Constitutional Court will hold a hearing on the BND Act on January 14th and 15th, 2020.

Plaintiffs expect a fundamental ruling defining the limits of intelligence gathering abroad. An alliance of six media organisations and the Gesellschaft für Freiheitsrechte (GFF) had filed a constitutional complaint against the BND Act, which gives broad surveillance powers to the Federal Intelligence Service (BND).

Source: German Constitutional Court to hold hearing on surveillance powers of the “German NSA”, the BND – GFF – Gesellschaft für Freiheitsrechte e.V.

German Supervisory Authorities Propose Changes to the GDPR

On December 2, 2019, the German Supervisory Authorities issued a report evaluating the implementation of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) in Germany.

The report describes the Supervisory Authorities’ experience thus far in applying the GDPR and lists the provisions of the GDPR they see as problematic in practice.  For each of these provisions, the report discusses the perceived problem and proposes a solution.

Source: German Supervisory Authorities Propose Changes to the GDPR | Inside Privacy

German Constitutional Court Reshapes “Right to be Forgotten” and Expands Its Oversight of Human Rights Violations

In two recent landmark decisions issued on November 6, 2019, the German Constitutional Court presented its unique perspective on the “right to be forgotten” and announced that it will assume a greater role in safeguarding German residents’ fundamental rights from now on.

In first case the court held that since media nad privacy rights are not fully harmonized by EU law, the fundamental rights guaranteed by the German Basic Law (Grundgesetz) applied. The court stressed that in areas where the law is not fully harmonized, the application of fundamental rights granted by national constitutions can lead to different outcomes in the Member States.

In second case the court followed the Google Spain decision with respect to the general principles, in particular by confirming that the right at stake was the right to privacy. However, in the end, Google prevailed and the court did not order the takedown of the links at issue.

Full article: German Constitutional Court Reshapes “Right to be Forgotten” and Expands Its Oversight of Human Rights Violations

German Privacy Regulators Flooded with Google Analytics Complaints

The data protection authorities of the German states are being flooded with complaints, approximately 200,000 in number, regarding deployment of the Google Analytics service on websites in a manner which allegedly is in violation of GDPR.

At issue is whether deploying Google Analytics is possible without acquiring the consent of the end user prior to deploying the Google Analytics cookie on the end user’s device.

Source: German Privacy Regulators Flooded with Google Analytics Complaints

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