"Privacy Law": Recent blog posts

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Dispute with German Data Protection Authorities

Supervisory authorities monitor privacy law compliance

The federal states' data protection authorities and the Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information are responsible for monitoring compliance with privacy laws in Germany. Except for Bavaria, the federal states' data protection officers are responsible for both, the non-public sector, including

  • companies,
  • clubs,
  • associations, and
  • medical practitioners,

and the public sector, including

  • public authorities,
  • schools,
  • municipal hospitals, and
  • chambers of industry and commerce.

Whereas in the past, supervisory authorities used to check the implementation of data protection laws by companies, associations, and clubs sporadically only, the number of inspections has noticeably increased in recent times.

Powers of the supervisory authorities

The supervisory authorities have far-reaching powers enabling them to monitor and enforce compliance with data protection regulations and to penalize any infringements.

Data protection authorities may, for example, require that all information necessary for an examination of the processes relevant in terms of data protection be provided. In addition, they are authorized to perform data protection controls and even to enter a company's premises for this purpose. The supervisory authority may even order an organization to temporarily or definitively restrict the processing of personal data, or impose a ban.

Penalties for violations of German data protection rules

The data protection authorities may impose fines of up to 20,000,000 euros or, in case of a company, up to 4 percent of the company's overall annual turnover generated worldwide in the preceding business year for violations of data protection rules. Beyond the financial loss, the company also risks a damage to their image if data breaches or fines become known to the public. The cooperation with supervisory authorities therefore requires competence and expertise so as to avoid and/or minimize damages to your organization.

Our experienced attorneys will be pleased to represent you in your dealings with data protection authorities to allow you to focus on your core business.

Advisory services on data protection law

Our advisory services include in particular:

  • Preparing inquiries to the data protection authorities;
  • Communications with data protection authorities in cases of conflicts, if you are accused of violations of data protection rules;
  • Representation in fines proceedings;
  • Advice and assistance in case of official control procedures by supervisory authorities;
  • Assistance in case of notifications of data breaches.

Your attorneys in case of conflicts with German data protection authorities

We represent you before the data protection authorities. Your expert in case of any questions relating to dealings with data protection authorities in Germany or to general data protection issues is Attorney Olga Stepanova. The easiest way to reach us is by e-mail (info@winheller.com) or by phone (+49 (0)69 76 75 77 80). Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.

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Juve AwardLegal 500 Germany 2019
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