The BigBrotherAward “winners” 2017
The company PLT – Planung für Logistik & Transport GmbH (Planning for Logistics and Transport) receives the BigBrotherAward in the Workplace category for its PLT Staff Tracker. This device provides employers with real-time information on the whereabouts of their newspaper deliverers or postal carriers and how fast they are moving. Such comprehensive monitoring is degrading and pointless.
The German IT business association Bitkom receives the BigBrotherAward 2017 in the “Business” category for their uncritical promotion of big data, for obtrusively lobbying against data protection, and for being a front organisation for big US companies, who call the shots within Bitkom.
The Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DİTİB) receives the BigBrotherAward 2017 in the “Politics” category because imams at DİTİB – acting for the Turkish government and its secret service MİT – are said to have conducted political espionage on DİTİB members and visitors, exposing them to persecution by the Turkish state.
The Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU Munich) receive the BigBrotherAward 2017 in the “Education” category for cooperating with the online learning provider Coursera. Data about students’ learning results constitutes a treasure trove which Coursera as a company reserves the right to exploit commercially.
The German Federal Military (“Bundeswehr”) and the Federal Minister of Defence receive the 2017 Big Brother Award in the category Authorities and Administration for the military’s massive digital arms build-up including the new “Commando Cyberspace and Information Space” (“Kommando Cyber- und Informationsraum”, KdoCIR). This digital combat unit with a planned strength of 14,000 personnel is to prepare the German military for cyber warfare – including military cyber attacks on other countries’ IT systems and critical infrastructure. This militarisation of the Internet means the Federal Republic will take part in the global cyber arms race – without parliamentary control, without democratic oversight and without legal basis.
The company Prudsys receive the BigBrotherAward 2017 in the “Consumer Protection” category because they offer software that facilitates price discrimination. This software sets a price according to what it can find out about the individual customer, not according to a product’s value. As a consequence, two different people may have to pay a different price for the same product.
Again this year we have had more nominations than we could recognise with an award. Some of those nominated deserve to be reprimanded at least.
In 2017 we continued the cherished tradition of asking our audience at the end of the gala which award they found particularly “impressive, astonishing, shocking, revolting, …”. As last year we had a clear winner, although this time with a less than absolute majority (which it had received in 2016).
- The latest BigBrotherAwards gala was held on 5 May 2017.
- All award speeches have been published on the German and English “awardees” pages.
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.
The Jury 2017
Rena Tangens & padeluun Digitalcourage, Thilo Weichert and Netzwerk Datenschutzexpertise, Frank Rosengart , Prof. Dr. Peter Wedde Institut für Datenschutz, Arbeitsrecht und Technologieberatung, Dr. Rolf Gössner