European Data Protection Digest

German Court OKs Use of Tax Informant CD Data

PRIVACY LAW—GERMANY

December 10, 2010

Germany's Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) has ruled that despite questions about the legality of the purchase from an informant of compact discs with personal and financial data of German citizens, the data can be used to support investigatory searches without violating privacy law. (In re Constitutional Complaint, BVerfG, No. 2 BvR 2101/09, 11/9/10). A German couple under investigation for tax fraud filed the lawsuit, arguing that the search of their apartment in September 2008 was unlawful because it was based on data on a compact disc bought by German tax authorities from an informant. The court ruled that the use of the data did not touch on the absolute core area of private life because it only concerned the couple's business contacts with financial institutions. German tax officials have purchased several compact discs from informants (206 PRA, 10/27/10). (Article in German.)
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