It’s Called Paranoia

Why is Germany a blank spot on Google’s Street View? See above.

Paranoia

There are good historical reasons why Germans are suspicious of surveillance — but is Google as bad as Gestapo or Stasi?

It’s to do with Germans’ curious sense of privacy: they’d rather flaunt their private parts than their personal data…

While public nudity is a big no-no in the United States for example, Germany has a long tradition with what is known as FKK – short for Freikörperkultur, or “Free Body Culture.” Certain beaches and areas of city parks are dedicated to nude sunbathing, and even Nacktwanderung (“nude rambling”) is a thing.

On the other hand, Germans are extremely possessive of their personal data — and are shocked by the readiness with which Americans (and others) share their names, addresses, friends’ lists, and purchase histories online.

According to research presented in the Harvard Business Review, the average German is willing to pay as much as $184 to protect their personal health data. For the average Brit, the privacy of that information is only worth $59. For Americans and Chinese, that value declines to single-digit figures.

Data Privacy, Data Privacy Data Privacy…

That’s how the mantra goes. Unless, of course, it’s about the data privacy of a BAD Austrian nationalist, right?

Srache

No outrage about this blatant breach of data protection here in Germany, at any rate. Normally they’d be out in the streets about something like this.

A German data protection agency has suggested German media outlets were wrong to publish video that exposed Heinz-Christian Strache’s allegedly corrupt intentions.

News agencies violated privacy rights by publishing a secretly filmed recording of the now-former vice-chancellor of Austria, an official German data protection agency claimed on Sunday.

Stefan Brink, who heads the Data Protection and Freedom of Information agency in the German region of Baden-Württemberg, believes the tape of Heinz-Christian Strache has far-reaching negative repercussions.

“If we cheat political opponents, violate their privacy and even commit criminal wrongdoing, we ultimately harm our political culture and us all.”

If The Deutsche Post Does It It’s Different

As usual, German Scheiße doesn’t stink.

Deutsche Post

When it comes to data mining = Cambridge Analytica = Facebook = US-Amerika, we’re talking pure evil. The Deutsche Post, on the other hand, is the Deutsche Post so it ain’t no big deal – when they do the same thing. The outrage hält sich in Grenzen (is kept within limits).

Deutsche Post sold client microtargeting data to the Christian Democrats and Free Democrats before the 2017 elections. Is this a scandal along the lines of Cambridge Analytica in the US? That depends on whom you ask.

“German ‘data-driven’ canvassing cannot be compared with the highly sophisticated US campaigns, which use reliable data, experimental findings and data modeling to identify individual voter targets.”

Germans Can’t Live Without Facebook

Or at least that’s the impression I get. Otherwise, if they were so terribly worried about what Facebook does with their data, they would simply stop using it. It’s still a “free” service, right? But, of course, nothing is ever for free.

Facebook

Facebook is open about collecting a broad variety of personal information, from facial recognition data to, yes, “likes” on other sites. Privacy-minded people can easily find out what Facebook knows about them and even download the data. So it’s not as if users were deceptively kept in the dark about Facebook’s harvesting of “21st century raw materials.” That, however, is not the Federal Cartel Office’s main concern; it’s that Facebook, as a company dominant in its market, forces users to agree to these harvesting practices: They don’t really have any place else to go for their digital social needs if they feel uncomfortable about how their data are used. If it’s a choice “between accepting ‘the whole Facebook package,’ including an extensive disclosure of personal data, or not using Facebook at all,” as the regulator put it in a December document, and if Facebook is a dominant company, it’s illegal in Germany.

The regulatory attack on personal data harvesting is based on the unproven assumption that the data are valuable.

This Guy Put The Court In Male Escort

A woman who got pregnant after having sex with a male escort in a German hotel has failed in a legal battle to find out his name.

Hotel

Or the rest of his name, genau genommen (to be precise). His first name was Michael. At least it was for that night. But it might also be Jack Flash, Chocolate Thunda or Pogo Stick, depending upon what other night of the week it is. Hard to say for sure (hard for sure to say?).

The woman – not named in the case – said she had got pregnant after staying with “Michael” in a room on the second floor. She now has a seven-year-old son called Joel. The court decided that her lack of detail about the man raised the risk of personal data “simply being released at random.”

Das Amtsgericht München hat entschieden, dass ein Hotel keine Auskunft über einen Gast erteilen muss, der als potentieller Vater für das Kind der Klägerin in Betracht kommt.

German Communities To Expand Use Of So-Called “Cameras”

Apparently as a reaction to the latest outcry for better public TV programing, many German municipalities are now suddenly calling for the more wide-spread installation of so-called closed-circuit television “cameras” to offer their captive audiences a more interactive and rewarding viewing experience.

Cameras

They are also calling for a more realistic reevaluation and better treatment methods for the German obsessive-compulsive disorder commonly referred to as “Datenschutz” here, although what that has to do with better public television programming remains unclear to the author as of this writing.

“Derzeit wird in Deutschland vieles, was möglich wäre, mit Hinweis auf den Datenschutz verhindert.”

Data Protection, Data Protection, Data Protection…

This mantra is suddenly not quite as effective as it used to be in Germany.

Data

“We have to expect a long period of terror. London, Madrid, Paris, now Brussels. Even German cities will not be spared in the long run. So far, we have been lucky”, stated Rainer Wendt, chief of the German Police Union at newspaper Passauer Neue Presse.

On this frame, German politicians ask for an increased exchange of information between European authorities, in a country that is really sensitive over privacy issues and has some of the strictest rules on privacy and data protection in the world, partly as a heritage from Germany’s surveillance history through the East German and Nazi dictatorships.

“The best remedy against such attacks is information exchange,” stressed Germany’s Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière.

And remember all the NSA, “friends don’t spy on friends” hysteria? U.S., Germany eye ways to deepen cyber collaboration

De Maizière will an die “Datentöpfe.” “Datenschutz ist schön, aber in Krisenzeiten hat Sicherheit Vorrang.”

But What About Datenschutz?

That means data privacy and is way big medicine here in Germany indeed. Just go ask Google, Facebook, the Boy Scouts, whoever.

Names

So like how on earth could German counter-terrorism police be “investigating documents (illegally acquired) said to reveal the identities of a large number of fighters of so-called Islamic State?” Without their expressed written permission, I mean. Do Julian Assange and Edward Snowden know about this?

Don’t these terrorists have the right to keep the German state from snooping into their, uh, Islamic state? Somebody call the nation’s Datenschutzbeauftragter (data protection officer) immediately. This is an outrage or something.

22 000 Namen von Islamisten enthüllt | ISIS-Geheimdienstchef verlor USB-Stick mit Terrordaten

Finding Friends Now Illegal In Germany

If you had any friends, you wouldn’t have to find them, right?

Facebook

And trying to find friends who aren’t your friends yet would only be an imposition and a possible violation of their Gott-given data privacy rights.

So just why are you trying to find these friends, anyway? Do you have some hidden agenda we don’t know about? What are you really up to? And, more importantly, why are you standing on ze corner?

Germany’s Federal Court of Justice has upheld a 2014 judgement that Facebook’s Friend Finder feature is illegal under laws concerning both unwanted commercial promotions and data protection, following an appeal by the social media giant.

The album (Weasels Ripped My Flesh) also documents the brief tenure of Lowell George (guitar and vocals), who went on to found the country-rock band Little Feat with Mothers bassist Roy Estrada . On “Didja Get Any Onya?”, George affects a German accent to relate a story of being a small boy in Germany and seeing “a lot of people stand around on the corners asking questions, ‘Why are you standing on the corner, acting the way you act, looking the way you look, why do you look that way?'”

German Of The Day: Datenschutz

That means data privacy and Germans are notoriously big on that, as you well know.

Tornado

Take Germany’s planned reconnaissance flights over Syria and Iraq, for instance. Germans are so concerned about data privacy that they are already planning not to share the intelligence they might gather there with their allies. Sicher ist sicher (better safe than sorry).

The aircraft are expected to operate from Incirlik airbase in southern Turkey, and as Nato allies, the two countries would normally expect to share intelligence. But German commanders are concerned Turkey may use surveillance information from the flights to direct attacks against Kurdish forces allied to the West.

Deutscher Anti-IS-Einsatz: Berlin will Aufklärungsdaten für Türkei zensieren