In Brief: Real estate firm Deutsche Wohnen hit with record high fine for breaching data protection laws

Berlin's data protection commissioner finds Deutsche Wohnen guilty of saving excessive amounts of data on tenants. The commission has now imposed a record high fine on Berlin’s largest private real estate group.

Photo by Felix Neudecker on Unsplash

 

Berlin’s data protection commissioner imposed a record high fine on the real estate company Deutsche Wohnen after finding it guilty of saving excessive amounts of data on tenants.

The company has to pay a fine of approximately 14.5 million euros for violations of the basic data protection law. Among other things, Deutsche Wohnen stored data on its tenants without gaining authorization from individuals. The ruling says in some instances storage of personal data wasn’t necessary.

Examples of stored data include salary statements, employment contracts, and personal tax and health insurance information.

The data protection office audited Deutsche Wohnen in 2017 and strongly advised the company to clear their database in advance of new EU data protection laws, but found they still neglected to adhere to legal requirements.

Startups are becoming increasingly important as employers in Berlin, according to the German Start-Up Monitor 2019.

Next year, Berlin startups want to create an average of 15 new jobs per company, which would set a new Germany-wide record. The latest report says despite the threat of economic recession in many sectors, Germany’s entrepreneurs expect continued growth in the months ahead.

Managing Director of the Bundesverband Deutsche Startups, Franziska Teubert, said part of the success among startup founders is that their business models are future-oriented and focus on issues such as digitization and sustainability.

The latest barometer for happiness in Germany is in. According to the Deutsche Post’s Happiness Atlas, or Glücksatlas, levels of satisfaction remain high in Germany.

The results say the happiest Germans live in Schleswig-Holstein. With the highest levels of discontent in Berlin and Brandenburg. The survey says in Berlin, factors such as high unemployment, high rents in comparison to income, and the high rate of singles are depressing the mood.

 

This news is brought to you in cooperation with Berliner Rundfunk.