LEGAL iStock_000016406958SmallGermany’s “Act to Improve the Civil Enforcement of Consumer Protection Provisions of Data Protection Law”, published on 17 February and entering into force today, 24 February 2016, enables consumer protection associations to file privacy cases in court on behalf of individuals.

Not-for-profit consumer protection organizations may start court actions in cases of data protection violations in the fields of advertising and marketing, opinion research, creating personal profiles and selling personal data (including address details) to third parties. The courts may not award damages in these cases but it is thought that negative publicity may prove a powerful punishment.

Importantly, the law states that consumer organisations cannot make claims against violations of international data transfer rules until 30 September 2016.