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Tag Archives for " Germany "

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.

Source: A New Day for GDPR Damages Claims in Germany? | Inside Privacy

Deutsche Wohnen fine now declared invalid by a German court

There has been a big bang in the data protection world in Berlin as the first and most spectacular GDPR fine in Germany has just been declared invalid.

The Berlin Commissioner for Data Protection for Freedom of Information  issued a EUR 14.5 million fine against a German real estate company, die Deutsche Wohnen SE.

The Regional Court (Landgericht) of Berlin has now declared this fine invalid and closed the proceedings. The Berlin DPA will ask the public prosecutor’s office to appeal the Court’s decision and escalate the case to the next instance.

Source: Deutsche Wohnen fine now declared invalid by a German court

Germany Publishes New Draft Rules for Cookies and Similar Technologies

On January 12, 2021, the German Ministry for the Economy and Energy released a new draft Law on Data Protection and the Protection of Privacy in Telecommunications and Telemedia (TTDSG).

If enacted, the draft law will replace the existing data protection and privacy provisions of Germany’s Telemedia Act and Telecommunications Act (Telemedia Act), including provisions applicable to the use of cookies and similar technologies.

Among other things, the draft law clarifies that a website operator must obtain an end-user’s consent for deploying cookies and similar technologies on the end-user’s device(s), unless the cookies or similar technologies in question are “necessary to provide the service(s) requested by the end user” (Section 22). Moreover, the draft law expressly states that such consent must meet the standards of the GDPR.

Source: Germany Publishes New Draft Rules for Cookies and Similar Technologies | Inside Privacy

Monitoring of Employees Faces under Scrutiny in Europe

European privacy regulators are scrutinizing how employers collect workers’ personal data and dishing out multimillion-dollar fines for violations.

German electronics retailer notebooksbilliger.de is the latest company to be targeted. The seller of laptops, phones and other electronics online and in bricks-and-mortar shops was fined 10.4 million euros ($12.6 million), for using video surveillance cameras to monitor employees, the data protection regulator in the German state of Lower Saxony said this month.

The case reflects European authorities’ growing interest in employers’ use of technology to monitor employees.

Source: Monitoring of Employees Faces Scrutiny in Europe

German police take down ‘world’s largest darknet marketplace’

A German-led police sting has taken down the “world’s largest” darknet marketplace, whose Australian alleged operator used it to facilitate the sale of drugs, stolen credit card data and malware.

At the time of its closure, DarkMarket had nearly 500,000 users and more than 2,400 vendors worldwide, as the coronavirus pandemic leads much of the street trade in narcotics to go online.

Source: German police take down ‘world’s largest darknet marketplace’

Germany′s foreign intelligence service under pressure

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has admitted a Reporters Without Borders (RWB) complaint claiming that people are not properly protected against groundless and unjustified mass surveillance by Germany’s foreign intelligence service, the BND.

The admission of the complaint on a European level opens up the possibility, “of finally remedying this untenable abuse of law,” said Christian Mihr, executive director of the RWB, an international organization that represents the interests and safety of journalist worldwide.

Source: Big brother: Germany′s foreign intelligence service under pressure | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 14.01.2021

German Federal Government Passed a Draft Law Amending Germany’s Information Technology Laws

On December 16, 2020, the German Federal Government passed a draft law that substantially amends some of Germany’s information technology laws.

These amendments aim to adapt the current legal framework to the increasing digitalization of products and services, the proliferation of IoT products, and the appearance of new cybersecurity threats. The draft law is expected to be enacted in the German Parliament in the first quarter of 2021.

Source: German Federal Government Passed a Draft Law Amending Germany’s Information Technology Laws | Inside Privacy

German DPA fines company 10.4 million euros for monitoring employees without legal basis

The State Commissioner for Data Protection (LfD) Lower Saxony has imposed a fine of 10.4 million euros on notebooksbilliger.de AG. The company had video-monitored its employees for at least two years without any legal basis.

The illegal cameras recorded workplaces, sales rooms, warehouses and common areas, among other things. The company claimed that the aim of the installed video cameras was to prevent and investigate criminal offenses and to track the flow of goods in the warehouses. In order to prevent theft, a company must first examine milder means (e.g. random bag checks when leaving the business premises). Video surveillance to uncover criminal offenses is also only lawful if there is justified suspicion against specific persons.

Source: LfD Niedersachsen imposes a fine of 10.4 million euros on notebooksbilliger.de | The State Commissioner for Data Protection Lower Saxony

Law enforcement wiretapped the very service used by criminals to evade interception

The virtual private network (VPN) Safe-Inet used by the world’s foremost cybercriminals has been taken down in a coordinated law enforcement action led by the German Reutlingen Police Headquarters together with Europol and law enforcement agencies from around the world.

This VPN service was sold at a high price to the criminal underworld as one of the best tools available to avoid law enforcement interception, offering up to 5 layers of anonymous VPN connections.

Much of the criminal activity occurring on the network involved cyber actors responsible for ransomware, E-skimming breaches, spearphishing, and account takeovers.

Source: Law enforcement wiretapped the very service used by criminals to evade interception

German top court strikes down plank of anti-terror law

Germany’s top court said on Friday it had struck down a key passage of an anti-terror law on data protection grounds, raising the bar for security services to swap information.

The Federal Constitutional Court said the passage of the measure in question was too vague in granting permission for intelligence on terror suspects to be shared from a central security database.

Source: German top court strikes down plank of anti-terror law

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