On March 22, 2012, the 83rd Conference of the German Data Protection Commissioners came to an end in Potsdam. The attendees indicated their general support for the European Commission’s proposed reform package aimed at modernizing and harmonizing data protection laws in the EU, but insist that Member States should have the authority to implement more stringent data protection measures for the area of public administration. 
 
The Conference also covered the following topics:

  • the European Investigation Order (“EIO”) in criminal matters;
  • developing intelligent safety systems;
  • telecommunications surveillance;
  • law enforcement use of internet searches, including social networks; and
  • the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (“ACTA”).

The Conference resulted in Resolutions on the following three topics:

  • Draft EU Regulation for data protection. The Resolution on this topic contains criticism of the proposed reform package, and details specific requirements the German DPAs would like to see considered as part of the upcoming legislative process (e.g., strict regulation for profiling, generalized claims for damages and the right to use online services in an anonymous or pseudonymous way).
  • Publicly funded research projects to detect abnormal behavior in public. The Resolution on this topic includes statements and requirements for projects such as “INDECT” (intelligent information system supporting observation, searching and detection for security of citizens in urban environment) and “ADIS” (automated detection of situations that require intervention through classification of visual patterns).
  • European Investigation Order in criminal matters. The Resolution on this topic criticizes the draft EU Directive on the EIO and includes statements regarding issues that should be considered in the upcoming legislative process.

A detailed press release and the three Resolutions adopted during the Conference may be accessed on the Brandenburg DPA’s website (in German).