DATA PROTECTION

Privacy Watchdog Reforms Attacked

data_reuters
Merkel sees everything: German data privacy activists have long accused the country's watchdog of not properly protecting its citizens.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The reforms mean the Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information will become independent, but a lack of resources will continue to hamper its work.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • The Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information is currently part of the Interior Ministry.
    • Ministers have been accused of interfering with its work.
    • The reforms will see a slight increase in staffing levels.
  • Audio

    Audio

  • Pdf

Critics have attacked the German government’s decision to overhaul the country’s privacy watchdog, saying the reforms do not go nearly far enough.

Ministers have announced that the Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information will be hived off from the Interior Ministry and upgraded to an independent agency in 2016.

The move followed accusations that the ministry interfered with the watchdog’s work and discouraged it from criticizing the Interior Minister.

The Ministry often took positions that were diametrically opposed to data protection, making the commissioner’s lack of independence “highly problematic,” said Konstantin von Notz, the Green Party’s spokesman for digital policy.

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