skip to Main Content

The DSVGO, viewed with the eye of the consumer

The DSVGO, which comes into force on 25 May 2018, is intended to strengthen consumer rights. What are the advantages for consumers, what is changing and where should one (still) be cautious?
Do I have to react to the flood of mails from newsletter providers and online stores?
In future, advertising and info newsletters will only be permitted with the double consent of the consumer. This is done, for example, by entering your data with the mail sender and reacting to a confirmation mail. If you find it too annoying to react to the large number of current confirmation requests, you should no longer receive e-mails from the provider concerned.

What about the use of Facebook and Whatsapp for under-16s?
Personal data of minors may only be processed if they have reached the age of 16. That’s why WhatsApp raised the minimum age from 13 to 16. On Facebook, the minimum age for use is still 13 years. Facebook sends the necessary request for the consent of the parents to the parents – if their e-mail addresses are communicated.

What else should I keep in mind at WhatsApp?
Private individuals only need to decide whether they want to allow WhatsApp to use their data. Attention: if you use WhatsApp on your company smartphone, you may not be allowed to give this permission yourself – because WhatsApp uses the data from the address book of the company mobile phone in this case. In legal terms, this means that personal data is transferred from one company’s device to another company – to do this, the employer would have to obtain individual consent from each contact in the address book. Since this is difficult to realize, WhatsApp should be taboo for corporate communication for the time being.

What do I need to know about Instagram?
With Instagram, you also only have to agree to the processing of your data. However, your right to information is exciting here. While Instagram used to be a one-way street for the content, where you could upload pictures and videos but no download was possible, according to DSVGO, the program must now also provide a tool for downloading user data.

What happens in the event of a change of supplier?
Here the DSVGO is helpful for the consumer, because it makes a change e.g. from one streaming service to another considerably easier, because it provides for a right to data transfer. So if you want to switch from Spotify to Apple Music, you can simply transfer your beloved playlists.

How do I request data information?
If you want to know what a company has stored about you, you can send an informal request by e-mail or letter. The Company must provide copies of all information such as name, address, date of birth, occupation, medical records and user content such as photographs or images. Contact addresses for these requests must be found on the website in the imprint. The information is free of charge and should be provided within one month.

How can I have my data corrected or deleted?
You can request deletion or correction of your data at any time, even after consent has been given. You can also revoke your consent to the processing of your personal data at any time. By the way, it is not enough to make the data no longer visible. They must actually be deleted. In addition, companies must inform potential third party users of the deletion request. The right to cancellation does not apply if the processing of personal data is necessary to exercise the right to freedom of expression and information.

Who helps with data protection violations?
The state protection authorities are taking action against breaches of data protection, but other associations in Germany may also sue.  They can therefore turn to consumer protection associations and other interest groups.

Back To Top