Adjusting or strengthening data protection “responsibly”?

by Thorsten Koch

Alena Buyx, Chairwoman of the German Ethics Council, would like to see data protection law revised. You have to adjust data protection in the sense of using big data, she said in an interview with the “Redaktionsnetzwerk Germany”. A change in the General Data Protection Regulation offers an option that can be used, suggested Buyx. Instead of a ban, one should use data responsibly.

Kelber: directive too vague

In March, the Federal Ministry of the Interior announced that there was no reason to give the Federal Commissioner for Data Protection more powers over Federal Police and Customs Office investigations. The Commissioner, Ulrich Kelber, finds the EU data protection directive for the areas of justice and home affairs in Germany inadequately implemented and “formulated far too vaguely”. In addition, the regulations are not uniform. In the event of errors, actual changes had to be implemented. This, then, would make it possible for data protection violations to be complained about and the complaints to be effectively implemented.

Use of emails after ID vetting only?

Kelber has a legal opinion that differs from that of the Federal Ministry of the Interior. The ministry wants users of e-mails and online messengers to have to identify themselves with their ID cards in the future. Kelber is also “critical of this”, the “Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland” quoted Kelber in March. It is a “major encroachment on civil liberties”. The SPD parliamentary group also rejects the plan, for example with a view to secrecy carriers such as lawyers and journalists who adhere to source protection and confidentiality. Kelber had emphasized in February that data protection does not hinder the fight against the pandemic. There is no evidence of this, he justified his legal opinion.

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