02.03.2022

eco Association on the German Network Enforcement Act (NetzDG) Ruling: Law Enforcement is the Responsibility of the State, Not Social Platforms

eco Association of the Internet Industry welcomes the decision of the Cologne Administrative Court on the German Network Enforcement Act (NetzDG), which, according to the judges, partially violates EU law. As a consequence, certain social platforms are for the time being not obliged to report suspected cases of certain criminal offences to the German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA).

eco Chair of the Board Oliver SĂĽme says:

“Law enforcement is the responsibility of the state and not that of social platforms – the Cologne Administrative Court has made this clear with its decision. Companies now have legal and planning certainty in dealing with the obligation to report suspected cases to the German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA). And the ruling is also very important for users of social platforms: Because with the obligation to report, the authorities would in fact immediately have very sensitive user data at their disposal – even if it is not ultimately criminal content. Social networks would have to transfer personal data in tens of thousands of cases every year without having had a prior case-related review by a state agency. It is right that the Cologne Administrative Court has provisionally put an end to this.”

Expected ECJ Rulings on Blanket Data Retention: eco Association Warns Against Across-the-Board Digital Surveillance