The BigBrotherAwards 2018

The BigBrotherAwards gala took place on Friday, 20 April 2018 at the Theater Bielefeld.

Images 2018

Photos taken at the gala can be found on a separate page.

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  • Friday, 11 June 2021, the BigBrotherAwards 2021 were awarded at the Hechelei in Bielefeld. Find the winners here.
  • The 2020 German BigBrotherAwards gala took place on Friday, 18 September 2020, at the Hechelei in Bielefeld. See here for more.
  • The BigBrotherAwards 2019 were bestowed on 8 June 2019 at Bielefeld Theatre. The winners can be found on our 2019 page.

BigBrotherAward winners 2018

Workplace: Soma Analytics

The company “Soma Analytics” receives the BigBrotherAward 2018 in the “Workplace” category for their efforts to propagate their health app “Kelaa” and the “Kelaa Dashboard” among the human resources departments of companies. The app monitors several parameters (such as excitement in the voice during phone calls) to spy on the users’ vital functions, in order to give employers indications of their employees’ mental state.

PR & Marketing: the idea of a “Smart City”

The BigBrotherAward 2018 in the “PR and Marketing” Category goes to the idea of a “Smart City”. The advertising concept of a “Smart City” is used by tech companies to try to sell the idea of a “safe city” to municipal administrations: A city, covered in sensors, under total surveillance, remote-controlled and commercialised. “Smart Cities” reduce their citizens to mere consumers, change consumers into data sources and our democracy into a privatised service.

Technology: Microsoft Germany

Microsoft Germany, represented by Sabine Bendiek, Chairwoman of the Management Board, receives the BigBrotherAward 2018 in the Technology category for implanting telemetry (i.e. the transmission of diagnostic data) in Windows 10 that is almost impossible to deactivate. Even skilled users will hardly be able to stop this data from being transmitted.

Administration: Cevisio Software und Systeme GmbH

The BigBrotherAward 2018 in the “Administration” Category goes to Cevisio Software und Systeme GmbH & Co. KG in Torgau, Germany, for their software Cevisio Quartiermanagement (QMM), which is used in refugee shelters. This software can be used to register and store movements to the shelter, movements within the shelter, the handing out of meals, medical checks such as X-rays, blood and stool tests, family relationships, religious affiliation and ethnicity and many other details. The collected data facilitate a total control of the refugees.

Consumer Protection: Amazon Alexa

Amazon receives the BigBrotherAward 2018 in the “Consumer Protection” category for its nosy, impertinent, all-too clever and gossipy bugging operation in a can by the name of Alexa. It is well known that Alexa’s speech recordings are processed in the Cloud. What is award-worthy is the fact that these recordings are also stored in the Cloud and that they can be played back even months later. That makes it possible to monitor everyone present in the home, and it is unclear who else is given access to the recordings.

Politics: parliamentary groups of the Christian Democrats (CDU) and the Greens in Hesse

The parliamentary groups for the Christian-Democratic and the Green parties in the state parliament of Hesse receive the BigBrotherAward 2018 in the Politics category for their plans for a new domestic intelligence law. The draft by the “black-green coalition” contains an accumulation of grave surveillance powers that facilitate severe interferences with fundamental rights: So-called state trojans are to be used to secretly infect and investigate “suspect” computers, employees of projects to further democratic society are to be screened by intelligence agencies and, in a legal novelty, criminal undercover agents are to be exempted from persecution. All in all, this is a severe attack on democracy, on the rule of law, and on fundamental rights.

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.

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.