The BigBrotherAwards 2019 will be bestowed on Saturday, 8. June 2019 at 1800 CEST (1600 UTC) at Bielefeld Theatre. We are looking forward to the gala and hope that you will join us. There will be a German and an English live stream, and we would be very happy to welcome you at the theater. You will be able to borrow eadphones to follow the English interpretation on site.
The Hessian Minister of the Interior, Peter Beuth, receives the BigBrotherAward 2019 in the “Authorities & Administration” Category for the acquisition and use of an analysis software by Palantir, a company close to the CIA that has consequently gained access to the highly sensitive data networks of Hessian Police. With this software, mass data from police and external sources can automatically be interrelated, analysed and evaluated.
Peter Wedde, expert for employment law, will highlight dangerous trends and trend-setting developments in a live interview. Ostensibly there were no major scandals about spying on employees in the last few years, but Peter Wedde points out why workers still face increasing surveillance and what the consequences are. [A transcription of the interview will be published later.]
The company Ancestry.com receives the BigBrotherAward 2019 in the Biotechnology Category for enticing people with an interest in genealogy into submitting saliva samples. Ancestry.com sells genetic data to commercial pharmaceutical researchers, creates a data source prerequisite for genetic screening by the police and enables covert paternity tests, potentially causing familiy drama.
The company Precire of Aachen, Germany receives the BigBrotherAward 2019 in the “Communications” Category for the speech analysis software. Precire is not only used to preselect job candidates, but also by call centres to analyse callers’ emotions.
Reprimands in 2019 go to mood tracker apps, Berlin’s Public Transport Company and the Edeka-Center supermarket in Porta Westfalica. A commendation is given to the physicians’ association Freie Ärzteschaft together with IT service provider Jens Ernst.
The “Technical Committee CYBER” of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) receives the BigBrotherAward 2019 in the “Technology” Category for its efforts to establish a predetermined breaking point in the new technical standard for encryption on the Internet. The planned standard “ETS” (formerly “eTLS”) will enable government agencies to decrypt intercepted communications.
The ZEIT newspaper’s online presence receives the BigBrotherAward 2019 in the “Consumer Protection” Category. Firstly, for using advertising trackers and the Facebook Pixel. Second, for the use of Google services in the “Germany Talks” project. This leads to individuals’ political opinions being stored in US servers. Thirdly, for having the succesor project “My Country Talks“ financed by Google. This Faustian pact with one of the biggest data leeches damages journalistic independence.
For the first time, our audience was given the opportunity to answer the traditional question which awardee they had found particularly “impressive, surprising, shocking, or outrageous” online as well as in the hall. Here is the result.
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.
Images of the gala 2019 will be posted on this German page.
The Jury 2019
Rena Tangens & padeluun (Digitalcourage)
Thilo Weichert (Deutsche Vereinigung für Datenschutz und Netzwerk Datenschutzexpertise)
Frank Rosengart (Chaos Computer Club)
Prof. Dr. Peter Wedde (Institut für Datenschutz, Arbeitsrecht und Technologieberatung)
Dr. Rolf Gössner (Internationale Liga für Menschenrechte)