Privacy and Data Protection

Bild: Tobias M. Eckrich

Privacy and Data Protection

Privacy and data protection are necessary to safeguard people’s dignity and freedom. Countless lives were lost in the past to establish and protect our modern, liberal democracy.

The 20th century alone saw two dictatorships in Germany whose terror was based on lack of respect for individual rights and ubiquitous control.
However, dictators of past times would never have dreamed of the technical means we have today.
A monitored society is being created, simply because the technical means are there, and it serves the interests of government and business.
The Pirate Party takes a decided stance against this type of monitoring.
No matter how well each individual step on the road towards a police state is justified, we Europeans know from experience where this road leads, and we want to avoid this at all costs.


The right to privacy protection is a crucial foundation for a democratic society. Freedom of speech and the right to self-fulfillment cannot be realized without these requirements.

Systems and methods the state can employ against its citizens must be subject to constant evaluation and scrutiny from elected officials.
If the government monitors people not suspected of a crime, this is a fundamental and inacceptable breach of the civil right to privacy. Every citizen must be guaranteed the right to anonymity, which is part of our constitution. Under no circumstances must the state be allowed to share personal data with private enterprises.

The basic right of privacy of mail correspondence must be expanded to include all forms of communication. The government must only be allowed to access means of communication or to monitor citizens if there is substantiated evidence that this citizen will commit a crime. In all other cases, the government must assume that its citizens are innocent and leave them alone. The basic right to confidentiality of communication must receive strong legal protection, since governments have proven repeatedly that they are not to be trusted where sensitive information is concerned.

Particularly data retention without substantiated evidence not only opposes the principle of „innocent until proven guilty,“ but also all other principles of a free democratic society. The predominant trend towards mass surveillance is a much more serious threat to our society than international terrorism and creates a climate of distrust and fear. Extensive mass surveillance of public spaces, questionable dragnet investigations, central databases with unproven suspicions are means which we reject.

Informational self-determination

The individual’s right to control the use of his personal data must be strengthened. Especially data protection officers must be permitted to act with complete autonomy. New methods, such as scoring, make it necessary not just to give people control over their personal data, but also over all other data which can be used to try them in court. All citizens must have an enforceable claim against administrators of central databases to demand disclosure of their personal information at no cost, and also for correction, blocking or deletion of their data.

Due to the high risk of abuse, collection and use of biometric data and genetic tests require particularly critical assessment and review by independent authorities. The establishment of centralized databases containing such information must be avoided. In general, the requirements for the protection of personal data must take into account the special features of digital data, such as longevity and ease of unsupervised dissemination. Precisely because the Pirate Party works towards more freedom of information, culture and knowledge, it demands more economic use of data, avoidance of unnecessary creation of data and independent supervision over the handling of personal data which has potential commercial or administrative uses and hence might be used to curtail the freedom and informational self-determination of citizens in an unnecessary manner.