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Lower Saxony: LfD Niedersachsen releases statement on the legality of requesting date of birth in online shops

On March 20, 2024, the Lower Saxony data protection authority (LfD Niedersachsen) published a press release on the conclusion of the legal proceedings before the Lower Saxony Higher Administrative Court regarding the use of date of birth as a mandatory field in online shops.

In particular, the LfD Niedersachsen noted that the judgment followed a cease and desist order from the LfD Niedersachsen against an online pharmacy for the use of dates of birth in the ordering process, regardless of the type of goods ordered.

The LfD Niedersachsen highlighted the following:

  • the processing of dates of birth cannot be based on a contractual necessity, legal obligation, or legitimate interests, but legitimate interests may be applicable in case of default on payment; and
  • if consent is the only applicable legal basis, the input field in the form must be clearly marked as 'voluntary' and the customers must be provided with the possibility to continue the ordering process without inputting the data.

Lastly, the LfD Niedersachsen noted that online pharmacies remain subject to the abovementioned conclusions considering that the exceptions provided by the specific drug prescription regulations are not applicable to all the products sold by pharmacies.

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