Informational self-determination


It is the “right of informational self-deter­mination” that prevents enter­prises or government agencies from simply doing what­ever they like with the data of private citizens. This legislation guarantees the funda­mental right of individuals to determine whether and how their data should be used or released. It emerged out of the general right to privacy in the context of the “Census Ruling” handed down by the German Federal Constitutional Court in 1983. The idea behind it is this: if I can’t determine and monitor myself who knows what about me, when and on which occasions, I will tend to behave more cautiously. And that will hinder my freedom of action and undermine the democratic principle. It is for this reason that the restriction of this funda­mental right and the clandestine harvesting of personal data by government agencies is subject to strict limitations.