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Baden-Württemberg: LfDI Baden-Württemberg finds Ministry of Interior in violation of GDPR

The Baden-Württemberg data protection authority ('LfDI Baden-Württemberg') announced, on 30 March 2023, that it had decided to close its proceedings against the Ministry of the Interior, determining that the same violated Articles 5(1)(a) and 6(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) ('GDPR').

Background to the decision

In particular, the LfDI Baden-Württemberg stated that the proceedings concerned the transmission of a lawyer's letter on disciplinary proceedings by the Ministry of the Interior to a press representative.

Findings of the LfDI Baden-Württemberg

In particular, the LfDI Baden-Württemberg found that the transmission of the lawyer's letter to a journalist was illegal under data protection law and violated the principle of confidentiality. At the same time, the LfDI Baden-Württemberg highlighted that this occurrence can be considered a singular incident, thereby not revealing any structural deficits in dealing with data protection requirements or within the organisation of the Ministry of the Interior.

Thus, the LfDI Baden-Württemberg decided that, in view of the closure of the proceedings against payment of a monetary settlement, it cannot be assumed that such a data protection violation will repeat itself and found that a formal warning from the Ministry of the Interior was, therefore, not necessary.

Outcomes

In light of the above, the LfDI Baden-Württemberg found Ministry of the Interior in violation of the abovementioned provisions of the GDPR. Finally, the LfDI Baden-Württemberg clarified that, in its statement to the same, the Ministry of the Interior agreed with the legal assessment, recognised the special importance of personal data protection, and committed to taking the proceedings as an opportunity to raise awareness of data protection issues in cooperation with the LfDI Baden-Württemberg.

You can read the press release, only available in German, here.

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