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

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

27. July 2018

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 German Data Protection Act was considered one of the strictest in the world. Many amendments that recently 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 take this as an opportunity to shed some light on the reasons why data protection enjoys such a significant position in Germany. For NFON, German data protection standards are a success factor in our position 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.

Since NFON was founded in 2007, data protection has been part of our DNA. We have always been all-in on our commitment to data processing. 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 further improve data protection for our customers and partners. Read our blog post to learn more about how we comply with GDPR.

Is Germany the Home of Data Protection?
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Strict data protection regulations have been in force in Germany for decades. They are a fundamental right enshrined in the constitution. Whilst there is no cross-industry data protection law in the USA, 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 have a rather sensitive effect on how Germans view the protection of their data.

A comprehensive study published in Harvard Business Review confirms this: 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 are becoming increasingly aware of security issues. For example, in Germany, 86 percent entrust their family doctor with personal data, 73 percent have no doubts about their savings bank, yet only 27 percent trust Facebook.

GDPR Evolves German Data Protection
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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 that some providers have exploited, precisely because there was previously no uniform data protection law across Europe to protect customers.

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 Hessen in 1970, followed by the Federal Data Protection Act seven years later. This law, which has been observed 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 has once again set the course for data protection.

Who Protects the 2.5 Quintillion Bytes 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 percent of a company’s annual 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 types and covers IP addresses and GPS coordinates.

This will enable us to apply the new data protection standards to one of the biggest challenges facing cloud businesses, namely that we produce 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day and 90 percent of the total data volume was generated in the last two years alone. 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.

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