The current developments in connection with the corona pandemic present companies worldwide with new challenges in terms of data protection. Companies must take measures to protect employees from infections and maintain business operations as well as possible to mitigate negative economic consequences. In this context, companies are faced with various challenges as to how to implement the necessary measures without being confronted with the considerable risk of fines under the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In this context, various questions arise, such as the requirements in terms of
In these matters data protection law in particular is of great importance and should be observed by companies in any case. For example, a breach of data protection regulations may result in the imposition of fines in accordance with the German Data Protection Act. This especially in the light of the fact, that the processing of personal data relating to confirmed or even suspected Covid-19 diseases regularly constitutes processing of health data. This kind of data is particularly protected by data protection law and the processing is subject to increased legal requirements which companies must observe.
Nevertheless, in the opinion of the supervisory authorities, processing may be permissible in individual cases on the basis of the employer's duty of care, for the purpose of preventive health care or on the basis of a public interest to protect against serious cross-border health risks. Whether and how a processing operation can be legitimized under data protection law depends on its sensitivity and the details, which is why an examination of planned measures must be based on the circumstances of each individual case. In this context, it must be taken into account that consent is not always the means of choice, as it must be freely given and sufficiently informed.
We support our clients in answering emerging questions in a practice-oriented manner and in subjecting planned solutions to a pragmatic assessment. In doing so, it is our goal and claim to achieve results that are as effective as possible and that are legally and economically justifiable. Our clients benefit from our many years of experience as a data protection lawyer or data protection officer for German and international companies and groups.
Increasing technology and internationalisation mean that data protection and IT law are becoming increasingly important. New technologies and trends present new challenges, such as
In order to avoid liability risks, international companies must meet highly complex national and international data protection and IT compliance requirements and adapt and expand their data protection management systems accordingly. This especially holds true in light of the EU Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the new Federal Data Protection Act (BDSG), which comes into effect on 25 May 2018 in Europe and, respectively, in Germany, and which will set greater requirements for data protection management.
This will not only affect DAX and MDAX companies, but also small and medium-sized companies. Complex issues such as
must be implemented in line with the legal requirements in order to avoid the massive imposition of fines under the GDPR.
At WTS, we help our clients to develop practical and economically viable solutions. Where necessary, we consider not just the legal, but also the technical and organisational aspects, including the underlying business processes. In doing so, we take into account current international standards (e.g. ISO / IEC 27001) and new approaches, such as the standard data protection model of the conference of independent data protection authorities of the federal and state governments in Germany.
Our data protection and IT legal services portfolio includes design consultancy as well as strategic, individual and procedural advice, including representation vis-à-vis the supervisory authorities, affected parties and courts.
Our WTS experts can also provide an external data protection officer as defined in para. 4f BDSG (1990); Art. 37, para. 6 GDPR. By doing so, our clients will profit from our interdisciplinary and international consulting expertise. This allows for a cost-efficient and direct deployment as a data protection officer ("plug & play").
Our consulting services at a glance:
We revise, negotiate and prepare
As well as drafting contracts, our experts also support in structuring internet sites and online sales portals (e- and m-commerce). We also support companies with centralisation and outsourcing measures (e.g. use of cloud services or shared service centres).
At WTS, we also create guidelines, concepts, operating procedures and declarations relating to data protection. These include declarations for
Furthermore, we support in implementing strategic projects. We assist with data protection compliant product development ("privacy by design"). In addition, we help to develop legally compliant and innovative marketing and sales concepts.
Advising on selecting a location for data processing is also one of our areas of expertise.
We support our clients in shaping their data protection organisation and data protection management in accordance with the GDPR and the BDSG 2018. This includes support with making data protection impact assessments or with the implementation of data protection audits as defined in Art. 32, para. 1 lit. d GDPR.
In addition, we carry out individual data protection and IT law assessments to allow room for manoeuvre or to uncover any existing risks. Our experts also advise on the conceptual design and implementation of internal processes that comply with data protection and IT law, for example when introducing business intelligence software or CRM or OBA applications.
In the event of an illegal data leak, we also provide our clients with comprehensive advice, check existing reporting requirements and, if necessary, represent them vis-à-vis the supervisory authorities. At WTS, we also support companies in reviewing or designing sensitive data processing that complies with data protection law, such as the collection of data as part of internal investigative measures or when introducing data loss prevention tools.
We also advise on implementing prior checks and preparing procedure directories. Furthermore we support in developing and implementing data protection compliant data clearing and blocking concepts as well as archiving processes.
In the event of inspections, requests for information, orders or the imposition of fines, we represent our clients vis-à-vis the supervisory authorities and courts.
We support companies in handling requests for information from affected parties and provide training to management, business units and data protection officers with respect to data protection issues, e.g. on the new challenges presented by the GDPR.
Do you have any questions about our services or WTS? Please let us know. Please fill in our short contact form. We will get in touch with you as soon as possible.