On October 2, 2013, the 86th Conference of the German Data Protection Commissioners concluded in Bremen. This biannual conference provides a private forum for the 16 German state data protection authorities (“DPAs”) and the Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information, Peter Schaar, to share their views on current issues, discuss relevant cases and adopt Resolutions aimed at harmonizing how data protection law is applied across Germany.
The Conference covered the following topics:
- strengthening data protection law at the national, European and international level;
- requests to the German government for the next legislative period;
- strengthening of data protection in the social and health care sector; and
- securing electronic communications by implementing and developing end-to-end encryption.
During the Conference, the following Resolutions were adopted:
Resolution on Requests to the German Government
The DPAs request further development of the data protection framework at the national and international level. They emphasize the importance of a strong European data protection framework.
Resolution on the Need for Action in the Area of Public Security
The DPAs call for a transparent control of intelligence services in the national and international context. In addition, the surveillance activities of such authorities, which impact the fundamental rights of citizens, must be strictly limited.
Resolution on Data Protection in the Social and Health Care Sectors
The DPAs request to strengthen the rights of the private and intimate sphere of patients’ and insured patients’ lives. In light of the increasing competition in the social and health sectors, the DPAs note the potential risks facing the informational self-determination of these individuals.
Resolution on End-to-End Encryption
The DPAs state that they are committed to the promotion of the confidentiality and integrity of electronic communications. They request that the public sector takes a leadership role and implements “end-to-end” encryption using the “Online Services Computer Interface (OSCI)” standard developed by the federal state of Bremen.
The previous Conference was held in Bremerhaven in March 2013. At that time, the DPAs issued Resolutions on the proposed U.S.–EU Free Trade Zone, social networks and the proposed EU General Data Protection Regulation.