The Federal Commissioner for Data Protection, Andrea Voßhoff, has rejected data protection concerns regarding tenant names on bell labels. "The call to remove all bell labels is unnecessary," said Germany's top data protection officer on Thursday.

The owners' association Haus & Grund had demanded clarification from the federal government after a case from Vienna had caused a stir. A tenant had complained to his landlord about the name on the bell and appealed to the new General Data Protection Regulation (DSGVO).

He got right, whereupon the names of the tenants are to be replaced by numbers at all 2000 so-called community buildings in the Austrian capital. Affected are more than 200,000 apartments. A possible reason for the Viennese Actionism: The GDPR provides for fines for data breaches.

DSGVO does not apply to bell labels

The endowment of ringers with names was "neither automated processing nor actual or intentional storage in file systems," Voßhoff said. As a result, it is generally not within the scope of the new EU rules.

The GDPR - simply explained

Basic Data Protection RegulationWhat the new EU rules mean for citizens

The new EU data protection rules became fully effective on 25 May. They make companies and organizations Europe-wide valid specifications for the processing and storage of data. Many companies, clubs and volunteers were confused to start and were afraid of warnings.

Opposition possible

The Greens in the Bundestag declared in agreement to Voßhoffs statements, the "overwhelming majority of the normal, similar bell signs" was "not affected" by the DSGVO. The claim that the General Data Protection Regulation would force tenants to dismantle their bell labels would therefore lack "any basis," said Ft. Konstantin von Notz.

Anyone who does not want to publish by name can of course "disagree" with the affixing of the name.

Like the Greens, the SPD also warned against a sense of insecurity among the citizens. "Everyone can decide for themselves what stands at the front door," said the SPD digital expert Saskia Esken. The allegation that DSGVO forbid names on bell labels is "just another attempt" to discredit the rules and unsettle people.

The Association of German housing and real estate companies GdW also warned against an "exaggerated scare tactics". Earlier, the doorbell with the name of the tenant was a "basically lawful distribution of data," said the association. This has not changed with the recast of the regulation.

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