On Wednesday, March 15, the Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (BfDI), Professor Ulrich Kelber, handed over his activity report for 2022 to the President of the German Bundestag.
In the year under report, the BfDI chaired the Conference of Independent Data Protection Supervisory Authorities and sees scope for improvement in many laws and projects: “There is still too much focus on how data protection can adapt to projects rather than on searching for legally compliant solutions right from the start. We have therefore been committed to digital solutions that citizens can trust. We also need strong international cooperation for uniform standards. This is what I have been advocating for, for example, in the G7 group and the so-called Berlin Group.”
In addition to health issues, such as the e-prescription, the electronic patient record or the handling of research data, the BfDI has dealt with European digital acts, the federal government’s Facebook fan page and the so-called “chat control”. Last year, the BfDI received 10,658 notifications of data protection violations and 491 submissions related to freedom of information law. Citizens addressed 6,619 complaints and requests to the Federal Data Protection Commissioner.
In advising the supervised bodies, the BfDI was increasingly able to identify data protection-friendly alternatives. Examples include the design of cookie banners or the use of privacy-friendly social media from the fediverse such as Mastodon.