Computer dispute over the use of leading video conferencing systems


Berlin – A dispute has erupted over the use of pioneering video conferencing systems. The Handelsblatt Reports (Monday edition).

Hence, the trigger is the provider’s data protection check by Berlin’s Data Protection Officer Maja Smoltczyk. After an initial test last year, all common systems have failed again. After publishing the results on Thursday, Smoltczyk urged users to switch providers and warned: “Comfort cannot justify a fundamental rights violation.” Politicians from the Social Democrats and the Greens responded with clear criticism of the warning from the head of authorities.

The digital policy spokesman for the SPD parliamentary group, Jens Zimmermann, said he considered the reference to “fit” “completely inappropriate”, to “Handelsblatt”. Because in schools especially, in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, “unfortunately there is still another fundamental right that is being violated: the right to education.” Always and everywhere advocate for data protection against unfounded criticism. “But this narrow gaze in an exceptional setting doesn’t help much,” says Zimmerman.

It is therefore considered that it is possible to envisage “transitional period agreements” for the use of common systems. Greens’ digital expert Dieter Janesk also considers changing the provider in the current situation ineffective. In this epidemic, robust and easy-to-use videoconferencing systems are “critically important” for implementing homeschooling, but also for “efficient work processes” in the economy, Janesk told Handelsblatt. Enforcing adequate data protection towards service providers is the job of the authorities and, in case of doubt, the legislator, but with appropriate regulatory requirements and technical settings, this is also possible with existing systems. “Implementation with data protection is required, not excluding service providers,” said the Bundestag.

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Frank Mccarthy

<p class="sign">"Certified gamer. Problem solver. Internet enthusiast. Twitter scholar. Infuriatingly humble alcohol geek. Tv guru."</p>

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