Contrary to the efforts of data protection supporters in Germany, the controversially discussed reform of the German Federal Data Protection Act (Bundesdatenschutzgesetz) has not been adopted effective June 1, 2009, as was intended. The reform would have introduced several changes that are recommended by data protection and consumer protection advocates. For instance, certain privileges that enable address-trading would have been eliminated. Furthermore, the internal data protection officer of companies handling personal data would have benefited from special dismissal protection. The draft bill also contains an increase of the fines, and breach notifications for data protection mishaps. The change of the Data Protection Act was, in particular, opposed by the mail order trade and by publishing houses because elimination of these privileges would have severely limited the possibilities for mail advertisement.
If, and in what shape, the reform of the Data Protection Act will eventually be adopted, and whether this will occur during the current legislative period (ending in September 2009), is doubtful. The reform will be on the agenda of the interior committee of the Bundestag again on July 1, 2009.
However, the legislature passed a change to scoring procedures. Scoring procedures are procedures employing various data by which certain evaluations regarding the data subject are conducted, in particular on his creditworthiness. Currently, the valuation basis and calculation methods are often non-transparent and not accessible for the data subject. This will change: data subjects are awarded an extended information claim vis-à-vis credit agencies, as well as vis-à-vis the decision-making contractual partners: inter alia, the valuation basis and the calculated results must be provided to the data subjects in a comprehensible manner.