Tag Archives: germany

German Hacker Uses Twitter to Leak Personal Data of German Politicians

A 20-year-old hacker has been using Twitter to leak private details belonging to hundreds of German politicians, celebrities and public figures, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The Twitter Dump

Over several weeks last December, a Twitter account run by an individual calling themselves “G0d”, later identified as a 20-year-old German student,  posted links to the sensitive information, which included email addresses, phone numbers, and personal chats. The data dump was finally noticed by a German publican on January 3rd.

The account, which was quickly shut down, had more than 18,000 followers and described its activities as “security researching” and “satire and irony”. Google and Bitly also pulled the plug on the blogs and links the hacker had used to host files containing the information. Continue reading German Hacker Uses Twitter to Leak Personal Data of German Politicians

German DPA Hands Out Fines for Data Transfers

The reality in the wake of the Safe Harbor decision is hitting several companies that transfer data out of Germany.

The quick recap: The Schrems judgement invalidated the Safe Harbor framework. Now all data transfers between the EU and U.S. using Safe Harbor are unlawful.

The Data Protection Authority in Hamburg, Germany gave companies a short window to change the basis of their data transfers to a legal method – i.e. standard contractual clauses or binding corporate rules.

After that time frame, the Hamburg DPA started reviewing the data transfers of 35 companies. The good news is it looks like most companies are on board and changed the legal basis of their data transfers. However, there are a few companies that failed to make the change in time.

The Hamburg DPA announced that it fined three companies for unlawful data transfers from Germany to the U.S.:

  • Adobe – €8,000
  • Punica – €9,000
  • Unilever – €11,000

All three companies have switched over to standard contractual clauses during the reviews, leading to the smaller fines than the maximum €300,000 penalty. Additional investigations are ongoing and the Hamburg DPA noted that future penalties could be heavier for unlawful data transfers.

While these are the first fines handed out to companies that haven’t switched over from Safe Harbor, they surely won’t be the last. Other DPAs are expected to conduct their own investigations and enforce the legality of data transfers outside the EU.