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Germany: DSK publishes comments on draft law amending Federal Data Protection Act

On April 12, 2024, the German Data Protection Conference (DSK) published its opinion on the Federal Government's draft law to amend the Federal Data Protection Act of 30 June 2017 (implementing the GDPR) (as amended) (the Act).

In particular, the DSK provided comments on, among others:

  • the institutionalization of the DSK - namely to include DSK goals directly in the legal regulation and the express requirement for the Federal and State Governments to set up a permanent office that will support the DSK;
  • the expansion of jurisdictional scope - namely to remove the additional appointment of a lead German supervisory authority in cases where the controller or the processor does not have a domestic branch and the targeting criteria under Article 3(2) of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is not applicable;
  • the protection of trade and business secrets when data subjects request information - namely to remove the additional provision as it may be incompatible with the restrictions foreseen under Article 23 of the GDPR;
  • scoring - namely:
    • to clarify the terms 'social networks' and 'incoming payments and exits,' the criteria for proactive transparency obligations, and the specific rights of those affected; and
    • to include a discrimination ban, requirements for data accuracy and timeliness, and certification requirements for the scientifically recognized mathematical-statistical procedures on which it is based; and
  • the determination of a lead supervisory authority for cross-border data processing - namely to ensure that the determination of the lead authority is done by the supervisory authority, not the company, as well as to clarify the personal scope of this provision.

The DSK suggested further changes, such as:

  • immediate enforceability of administrative acts against public bodies;
  • applicability of provisions of the Administrative Offenses Act to violations according to Article 83 of the GDPR;
  • possibility for supervisory authorities to confiscate items; and
  • possibility of imposing fines against authorities and other public bodies.

You can read the opinion, only available in German, here.