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Bonn/Berlin, 18/11/2019

Press release 28/2019

The Bundestag strengthens the data protection supervisory authority

The Budget Committee of the German Bundestag has allocated a further 67 posts to the Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (BfDI) for the next year. This is intended to enable the Federal Commissioner, inter alia, to strengthen the supervision of security authorities, to perform new tasks related to digitalisation in the health sector and to cooperate more closely in international committees.

The Federal Commissioner, Ulrich Kelber, was pleased about the Parliament’s decisions and said: By this allocation, the Budget Committee of the German Bundestag strengthens again the data protection supervisory authority of the Federal Government. Also in 2018 and 2019 my office has been allocated a number of additional posts in order to better perform existing and new tasks.

Due to the growth intended in the budget, his authority, which currently comprises of 250 posts, will have substantially more staff members in the future. By this increase, the Federal Commissioner wishes, inter alia, to expand the provision of advice to the Government, Parliament and companies, and he intends to further enhance information for the public. When it comes to legislation, the introduction of new systems and business models, we prefer providing advice from the very start in order to prevent any conflicts with data protection at the end, explains Mr. Kelber.

At the European level, the BfDI intends to strongly push forward the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation in binding and detailed rules which can and must be used by all companies as guidance when they process personal data. For example, users tracking across devices and platforms, as well as insufficient technical protection of data, are to be curtailed.

The Federal Commissioner appeals to the parliaments of the Länder to also improve the staffing situation of the data protection authorities of the Länder: The German Bundestag has shown the way forward, and it has proven that it intends to enforce citizens’ rights in practice. However, many data protection authorities of the Länder remain severely understaffed. This situation finally calls for a change.