This year’s Audience Award went to the Council of the European Union in Brussels for the EU “terror list”. The Federal Ministry for the Economy and Technology did not behave any better, though, when they introduced the law for the “electronic income statement” (elektronischer Entgeltnachweis, ELENA). For this they were given an award, just like Deutsche Telekom AG and Yello Strom GmbH.
The Jury 2008
The BigBrotherAward 2008 in the “Europe/EU” category goes to The Council of the European Union (EU Ministers Council) in Brussels, represented by the Council’s President, Bernard Kouchner / Secretary General, Javier Solana. The EU Ministers Council receives the BigBrotherAward for the EU terror list.
The BigBrotherAward 2008 in the “Health and Social Services” category goes to Deutsche Angestellten-Krankenkasse (“German Employees’ Health Insurance”, DAK, a statutory health insurer), represented by their CEO, Prof. Dr. h.c. Herbert Rebscher, for the unauthorised sharing of 200.000 chronically ill patients’ data with a private company, without giving information to the insurance customers or asking for their consent.
The BigBrotherAward 2008 in the category “Consumers” goes to the members of the 16th German Bundestag (the Lower House in Germany’s Federal Parliament), represented by Dr. Norbert Lammert, President of the Bundestag, for waving through a number of laws which enforce the collection, long-term storing and sharing of detailed data of travellers.
The BigBrotherAward in the “Workplace and Communications” category goes to Deutsche Telekom AG (German Telecom, plc) for their illegal use of telecommunication connections data to snoop on Telekom supervisory board members and journalists.
The BigBrotherAward 2008 in the category “Politics” goes to the Ministry of Economy and Technology, represented by Minister Michael Glos, for passing the law about the ELENA procedure und the associated forced introduction of the electronic signature.
The BigBrotherAward 2008 in the “Consumers” category goes to the Work Group of German Market and Social Research Institutes (Arbeitskreis Deutscher Markt- und Sozialforschungsinstitute e.V., ADM), represented by its chairman Mr Hartmut Scheffler, further representing the Work Group of the Association of Social Science Institutes (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Sozialwissenschaftliche Institute e.V.), the Professional Association of German Market and Social Researchers (Berufsverband Deutscher Markt- und Sozialforscher e.V.) and the German Association for Online Research (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Online-Forschung e.V.) — for their recommendation in a guideline to have consumer interviews by telephone monitored secretly, and to continue propagating this illegal guideline even after protests from the data protection authorities.
Companies allow themselves generous conditions for sharing data
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.