Made in Germany: Why Does Data Privacy Matter to You?

With the enforcement of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the European Union has set a milestone that has attracted worldwide attention. However, Europe was a global pioneer in the field of data protection long before 25 May 2018, the date on which GDPR entered into force throughout Europe.

In Germany data protection has a long-standing tradition. For decades, the former German Federal Data Protection Act was considered one of the strictest in the world. Many amendments that became effective at the European level with GDPR did not present new territory for Germany, but in many respects served as a confirmation of existing law.

We want to shed some light on the reasons why data protection enjoys such a significant position in Germany. For NFON, continuously adapting to current European and German data protection standards is a success factor in our positioning as one of the leading cloud service providers with German roots.

Cloud Communications Services with the Highest Data Protection Standards

As a European provider of cloud services, we fully support the GDPR requirements, which further improve the protection of personal data. We operate our cloud services across data centres located in Germany, and we are one of the few true European cloud solutions made in Germany. We have always offered our customers and partners the highest possible levels of security when processing data. Handling personal data is not only part and parcel of our daily work; it is also one of our core technical competencies.

We view GDPR as an opportunity to improve data protection for our customers and partners even further.

Is Germany the Home of Data Protection?
Data privacy, NFON

Strict data protection requirements have been in force in Germany for decades. They are a fundamental right enshrined in the constitution. Whilst there is no central federal-level data protection law in the US, for example, Germany sees the protection of its citizens’ personal data as a state responsibility.

There are historical reasons for this: German history is characterised by far-reaching schemes of surveillance. These experiences have shown where the uncontrolled collection of personal data can lead and still very much shape the awareness of Germans when it comes to protecting their freedom to determine what happens to their own data.

A comprehensive study published in Harvard Business ReviewF confirmed back in 2015 that no other culture reacts more sensitively to data protection issues than the Germans. With the spread of new technologies, cloud communications services and mobile devices, users have become even more aware of security topics. According to the Postbank Digital Study 2020, the majority of Germans pay close attention to what personal information they have to disclose in apps and computer programs. They keep the information they share to a minimum – with 82 per cent of German users only sharing data that is absolutely necessary for using the application.

GDPR Evolves German Data Protection Idea Further
NFON, Data privacy

Digital technologies, cloud communications services and social media characterise our everyday lives so much that few users would find it easy to renounce them. This is why GDPR is an important step in the right direction: This regulation helps to close gaps in data protection, precisely because there was previously no uniform law across Europe to protect customers’ right to informational self-determination.

On the other hand, providers such as NFON, which already adhered to German data protection law before GDPR was rolled out, have a long-standing tradition. The world’s first data protection law came into force in the German state of Hesse in 1970, followed by the Federal Data Protection Act seven years later. This law, which was noted worldwide with its continuous expansion over the years, has always served as the basis for our own data protection standards at NFON.

We are pleased that Germany has continued its pioneering role in the implementation of European GDPR. In July 2017, Germany was the first country to implement all the new requirements of the European directive in the so-called German Data Protection Amendment Act (GDPAA). In doing so, Germany once again set the course for data protection.

Who Protects the 463 Exabytes of Data Every Day?

The enormous impact of the new regulation is based on its coverage throughout Europe as well as on the threat of fines. Failure to comply with the GDPR can result in fines of up to 20 million euros or 4 per cent of a company’s annual global turnover, whichever is higher.

In addition, the GDPR outshines all previous regulations on an important issue as it includes a significantly larger number of data categories and covers IP addresses and GPS coordinates.

This means we apply the current data protection standards to one of the biggest challenges facing cloud businesses. The World Economic Forum estimated the total data volume in the digital universe to amount to 44 zettabytes at the beginning of 2020. It is expected that by 2025, a mind-blowing 463 exabytes of data will be created each day globally. With GDPR, we are taking a huge step in the right direction to help bring this enormous data stream under control in order to ensure the protection of the personal rights of every individual.

To experience cloud communications services with high data protection standards, register here for a free trial version of our next-generation cloud communications solution. The complete NFON communications experience for 30 days – check it out now!