FECL 29 (November 1994):

GERMAN DATA PROTECTION COMMISSIONERS ON EUROPOL DRAFT CONVENTION

 

The Conference of German Data Protection Commissioners is unhappy with regulations in the draft convention on Europol pertaining to the processing of personal data.

At a meeting of the Conference of the Data Protection Commissioners in Potsdam, on 26/27 September, the Commissioners both at the federal and Länder (constituent state) level examined the regulations in the Europol draft convention concerning data protection.

In a decision adopted by the Conference it says i.a.: "The regulations pertaining to person-related data processing must be precise and in compliance with the principle of proportionality. For example, the competences provided for in the existing drafts for the Europe wide storage of non-involved persons does not comply with these requirements."

In the statement, the Commissioners further demand that, in compiance with the German constitution, the responsibility for data processing must continue to lie with the Länder, whenever data have been stored by their police authorities. This does, however not pertain to the competence of the BKA (Federal office of criminal investigation) as the national instance of Europol.

 

Separation of police and intelligence services

In another decision commenting the new German law on the combat against crime Verbrechensbekämpfungsgesetz (see cl No.28, p.1), the Conference of data protection commissioners emphasises that the "informational power of secret services and the executive powers of the police must remain strictly separated. The Data Protection Commissioners of the Federal Republic and the Länder are concerned about developments that threaten to further blur the clear separation line between intelligence services and police authorities. This pertains, above all, to the engagement of the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND: Foreign Intelligence service) under the law on the combat against crime."

The commissioners further demand that in implementing the new law that allows the BND to tap international telecommunications for the purpose of gathering information on organised crime, it must be guaranteed that no information is collected that is not comprised in the tasks of the BND.

 

Source: Konferenz der Datenschutzbeauftragten des Bundes und der Länder, 48. Sitzung, 26/27.9.94, Potsdam: Datenschutzrechtliche Anforderungen an ein Übereinkommen der Mitgliedstaaten der Europäischen Union über die Einrichtung eines europäischen Polizeiamtes (Europol), Beschluss; Art. 12 Verbrechensbekämpfungsgesetz - zur Trennung von Polizei- und Nachrichtendiensten, Beschluss.