Watch the BigBrotherAwards gala 2020

The video of the gala is available with kind support from The video player can be switched to the English audio track via the cogwheel button (at the bottom of the player, second button to the right).

Results of the audience vote

  1. Historical Amnesia (conference of interior ministers of the German federal states)
  2. Education (BrainCo company and Leibniz Science Campus Tübingen)
  3. Mobility (Tesla)
  4. Digitalisation (Minister of Education of Baden-Württemberg, Susanne Eisenmann)
  5. Politics (the German Federal Government)
  6. Workplace (H&M)
  7. Authorities & Administration (Brandenburg Interior Minister)


BigBrotherAwards 2020: awards and contributions

Mobility: Tesla

Tesla Inc., represented by Tesla Germany GmbH in Munich, receives the BigBrotherAward 2020 in the “Mobility” Category for marketing cars that extensively and perpetually surveil their passengers and car surroundings. The data obtained is constantly analysed and can be used for any purpose.

Authorities & Administration: Brandenburg Interior Minister

The BigBrotherAward 2020 in the “Authorities & Administration” Category goes to the Interior Minister of the Federal State of Brandenburg, Michael Stübgen, and his predecessor Karl-Heinz Schröter for permanently storing vehicle number plates. More than 40 million records containing vehicle information have been permanently stored in Brandenburg for many years using the so-called “recording mode” of the KESY system even though the Federal Constitutional Court has set very clear boundaries for that.

Education: BrainCo company and Leibniz Science Campus Tübingen

The company BrainCo receives the BBA in the “Education” category for its EEG headbands, which can allegedly measure students’ attention by their brain activity. The attention level is signalled by an LED on the headband and radioed to the teacher’s computer. In the US and China this technology is already used in classrooms. The second awardee is the Leibniz Science Campus Tübingen, which is trialling similar headbands in Germany, combined with eye tracking. That is dressage rather than education.

Politics: the German Federal Government

The BigBrotherAward 2020 in the Category “Politics” goes to The German Federal Government (supported by the coalition of the parties CDU/CSU and SPD), represented by the Chancellor, Angela Merkel (CDU), for its joint legal and political responsibility for the US drone war, which violates international law and is conducted via the satellite and data relay facility at the US airbase at Ramstein (in the German region of the Palatinate). It is here, on German soil, where weaponised drone operations in the Middle and Greater Middle East and on the African continent are controlled.

Workplace: Hennes & Mauritz (H&M)

H&M Hennes & Mauritz B.V. & Co. KG in Hamburg receives the BigBrotherAward 2020 in the “Workplace” category for the long-standing, devious and illegal processing of employee data at the H&M customer centre in Nuremberg. H&M has collected data concerning health problems of employees, as well as those of family members and colleagues. This information was gathered by H&M team leaders from friendly conversations at the workplace or on a coffee break.

Historical Amnesia: conference of interior ministers of the German federal states

The conference of interior ministers of the German federal states receives the BigBrotherAward 2020 in the “Historical Amnesia” Category for their intention to create a life-long personal identification number based on the tax identification number. Such personal identification numbers were used in two dictatorships on German soil: in Nazi Germany and in the East German GDR – for registration, repression and in the end for extermination. They violate the spirit of the constitution.

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.

Images of the gala

Photos of the BigBrotherAwards gala 2020 can be found on this German page.

The Jury 2020

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)
Guest authors: Claudia Fischer, Jessica Wawrzyniak (Digitalcourage), Leena Simon ( and Digitalcourage)