Ralf Bendrath: Germany: New Basic Right to Privacy of Computer Systems

February 29, 2008
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Ralf Bendrath: Germany: New Basic Right to Privacy of Computer Systems

The German Constitutional Court on 27 February 2008 published a landmark ruling about the constitutionality of secret online searches of computers by government agencies. The decision constitutes a new “basic right to the confidentiality and integrity of information-technological systems” as derived from the German Constitution.

“From the relevance of the use of information-technological systems for the expression of personality (Pers√∂nlichkeitsentfaltung) and from the dangers for personality that are connected to this use follows a need for protection that is significant for basic rights. The individual is depending upon the state respecting the justifiable expectations for the integrity and confidentiality of such systems with a view to the unrestricted expression of personality.” (margin number 181)

All I can say is “wow”.

If you read German, here is the actual document: Das Bundesverfassungsgericht

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