The First Senate of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany Thursday held that provisions authorizing police to use personal data through automated data analysis or automated data interpretation are unconstitutional.
The provisions, § 25a(1) of the Hessian Law on Public Safety and Order and §49(1) of the Act on Data Processing by the Police for Hamburg, both provide a statutory basis for police to link previously unconnected automated data bases and data sources in analysis platforms and permit systematic access of data across sources by search. They also allow police to process stored personal data through automated data analysis or interpretation.
The court ruled that automated data analysis of stored data is an interference with individuals’ self-determination of personal data used in such processing and that such use of data amounts to an interference with fundamental rights.
The court also ruled that the provisions do not satisfy the requirements regarding the principle of proportionality, nor do they meet constitutional requirements because an identifiable danger was not targeted in the design of police practices. This is because the justification of the prevention of criminal acts encompasses use of the data for prosecution of future crimes.