Ger­ma­ny: BfDI Face­book ban­ned for Fede­ral Press Office; lawsu­it against it

The Ger­man Fede­ral Data Pro­tec­tion Com­mis­sio­ner (BfDI) has char­ged the Ger­man Fede­ral Press Office (BPA) with Decis­i­on from 17.2.2023 ins­truc­ted to con­ti­n­ue the ope­ra­ti­on of the Face­book fan page of the fede­ral govern­ment to be dis­con­tin­ued. Inve­sti­ga­ti­ons by the BfDI and a Brief Opi­ni­on of the Data Pro­tec­tion Con­fe­rence (DSK) of 18.3.2023 had shown that a data pro­tec­tion-com­pli­ant ope­ra­ti­on of a fan page was “curr­ent­ly impos­si­ble due to the exten­si­ve pro­ce­s­sing of per­so­nal data of the users” (Media release). The brief expert opi­ni­on had come to the conclusion,

The­re is no effec­ti­ve legal basis for the sto­rage of infor­ma­ti­on in the end user’s ter­mi­nal equip­ment and access to infor­ma­ti­on alre­a­dy stored in the ter­mi­nal equip­ment when a fan page is visi­ted, or for the pro­ce­s­sing of per­so­nal data for which page ope­ra­tors are respon­si­ble. Fur­ther­mo­re, the infor­ma­ti­on requi­re­ments of Artic­le 13 of the GDPR are not fulfilled.

The Ger­man govern­ment has filed a lawsu­it against this decis­i­on – the aim is to crea­te legal cla­ri­ty for the ope­ra­ti­on of Face­book pages in a kind of test case. It is the opi­ni­on “that Face­book alo­ne is respon­si­ble for its data pro­ce­s­sing under data pro­tec­tion law and, to that ext­ent, que­sti­ons of data pro­tec­tion law are to be cla­ri­fi­ed sole­ly in rela­ti­on to Face­book” (accor­ding to the Report­ing of the FAZ).




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