After ten years of German BigBrotherAwards, it is time to look back. Even though the topic now has a greater presence in society, many businesses and governments still engage in a huge data hoarding mania. Such as Berlin’s Local Organising Committee of the World Championships in Athletics, and many businesses. These activities also depend on German companies offering surveillance technologies for Internet and telephone networks. They all received a BigBrotherAward!
The BigBrotherAward in the “Sports” category goes to the Local Organising Committee of the 2009 World Championships in Athletics, Berlin. It is given for their forcing journalists to agree to a comprehensive check of their personal data by the security authorities. Barely disguised under a cloak named “security”, they have committed a serious offence against a fundamental value of the free state: the freedom of the press.
The BigBrotherAward 2009 in the “Workplace” category goes to all those consumed by the delusion that you will get productive and motivated staff if you subject them to comprehensive monitoring and make their performance measurable by numbers. As a representative and winner on points, farm machines manufacturer Claas Landmaschinen (internationally known as Claas Group) receives the award for the bugged harvesting machines.
The BigBrotherAward 2009 in the “Business” category is given to a handful of German companies that sell Internet and phone surveillance technology and earn good money that way, while preferring to stay unnoticed themselves.
More and more data is raised “incidentally”. Some could be avoided, but not all. We must think about rules that could make a digitally networked world worth living in – each one of us and most of all, all of us together. Because we do of course have something to hide and protect: our private sphere.
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.