Since 25th May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation has been directly applicable in all EU Member States. The Saarland's Ministry of Justice, the Saarland University's Institute of Legal Informatics, the Independent Data Protection Centre of the Saarland as well as the Saarland's Chamber of Industry and Commerce lit "lecture fireworks" on this special day. (You can access the lecture slides here):

Manfred Beth, Head of the UIMC Dr. Vossbein GmbH & Co KG Saarbrücken, lectured on “Data Protection, also for small and medium sized businesses”. He explained which competencies the Data Protection Officer must show and explained the role of external as well as internal Data Protection Officers.

Dr. Fabian Niemann, partner at the international Law Firm Bird & Bird, lectured on the subject of  "Data breaches and data transfer after the GDPR has come into force – liability cases for businesses?" He explained when a data breach occurs and when this must be reported to the relevant authorities and affected parties. By way of short example cases, he encouraged the attendees to think situations through and come up with suitable arguments.

In his lecture "Data Protection in the digital world – possibilities and challenges for businesses", the Deutsche Telekom’s Data Protection Officer, Dr. Claus D. Ulmer focussed in particular on the effects of digitalisation on business models. He explained the aims of the GDPR, especially the harmonisation of a high level of Data Protection and the establishment of legal certainty and presented the Deutsche Telekom’s strategy for achieving these goals.

On the 20th April, three excellent experts had already begun the series of lectures with exciting lectures on legal questions raised by the GDPR:

Prof. Dr. Dieter Kugelmann, the State Data Protection and Freedom of Information Officer for Rheinland Palantine, lectured on the subject of "The EU Data Protection Regulation – a challenge for all involved".  He explained the aims and field of application of the GDPR in detail. He also spoke about the rights of those involved as well as the duties of those responsible and questioned critically if the current legal position needs to be improved.

Jan Pohle's, a Partner at DLA Piper, lecture focussed on the subject of "The importance of Data Protection for corporate governance". He considered the question of how a compliance programme in a corporation could be built up. He described the necessary steps by reference to the difference phases (implementations phase, management phase etc.).

Monika Grethel, the State Data Protection and Freedom of Information Officer for the Saarland, devoted her lecture to the subject of "Beware of the camera – video surveillance from the perspective of Data Protection supervision". She started by clearly explaining the legal basis for Data Protection. She then went on to explain the legal requirements for video surveillance by non-public bodies and highlighted her comments with a large number of interesting examples.

The lecture series was very well received by participants. Of course, all lectures were followed by sufficient opportunity for questions and answers. The topic of “Data Protection” is currently hugely relevant and will remain so in the future. A continuation of the lecture series is therefore anticipated.

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