BigBrotherAwards 2004

The law to reform the public health insurance system laid the foundation for Germany’s electronic health card. This earned Health Minister Ulla Schmidt a BigBrotherAward. Her cabinet colleague Brigitte Zypries was awarded as well. As Minister for Justice, as she would not abandon the so-called “Major Eavesdropping Attack” (audio surveillance on private homes) as a means of criminal investigation.


  • The latest BigBrotherAwards gala was held on 5 May 2017.
  • All award speeches have been published on the German and English “awardees” pages.

Awardees 2004

Technology: Canon

Canon Germany - An ID number storied in photocopying machines is invisibly printed on *all* copies. As each copier has an individual number, the source of a copy can be traced. This is sold as a feature to protect against forgeries of bank notes, cheques, etc.

About BigBrotherAwards

The BigBrotherAwards highlight privacy and data protection offenders in business and politics, they have consequently been called “Oscars for data leeches” by the French paper Le Monde. BigBrotherAwards are an international project. 19 countries have so far given these awards for dubious practices.

The German awards are organised and held by  Digitalcourage. Among the co-organisers are the German Association for Data Protection (Deutsche Vereinigung für Datenschutz, DVD), International League for Human Rights and the Chaos Computer Club.