Privacy rights seem very difficult to come by in this day and age of regulatory scrutiny. Even though Germany has always respected user privacy above anything else, this will come to change moving forward. And interior ministry draft law would no longer offer consumers the right to know what type of information is being collected by third parties. Moreover, video surveillance would become greenlit on a national level, which is not a positive development, either.
The End Of Consumer Privacy Looms In Germany
Privacy advocates are not happy campers these days, as a lot of things seem to be going wrong in this department as of late. Germany is now working on a draft law that effectively ends consumer privacy, both online and in the real world. Mass surveillance of residents is never the answer to any problem, although the choice somewhat makes sense in the fight against terrorism.
To make matters worse, this draft law makes it perfectly legal for any company, government agency, or service provider to no longer disclose what type of information they are collecting. In a way, this opens up the door to mass surveillance on the Internet, and it is unclear what this information will be used for. Ending user privacy is never a positive development, though, and we can only hope this draft law will be opposed.
But there is more, as data protection commissioners would no longer be able to sanction security agencies for breaches. Nor could they check up on legal or medical information leaks. This development would give data breaches an even more troublesome aspect, as there would be nothing data protection commissioners can do to help. Criminals all over the world would love these guidelines to go into effect. That much is certain.
It is safe to say that this law draft will face a lot of opposition, not just from privacy advocates and data protection commissioners, but also from the general public and other politicians. The European Union has proposed stricter rules that will go into effect in 2018, but this draft law would break those new rules even before they go into effect.
Privacy should be a basic human right, yet government officials don’t see it that way presently. They are only interested in protecting national security and trade secrets, which is understandable. Protecting those things, however, should not come at the cost of a valuable right that every person on the planet should be granted automatically.
For now, this draft still has to be approved before it goes into effect. It is doubtful whether it will be, though, unless several major amendments are made in the coming weeks. Those revisions are not guaranteed to be approved either, which makes the proposal even more dangerous.
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