Germany Prepares to Ramp Up GDPR Fines

December 13, 2019

A previously reticent Germany could soon rival the headline-making fines levied in the UK and France for infractions of the General Data Protection Regulation.

A year and a half late, many dollars short:  As noted in a piece recommended in the BEERG Global Labor Newsletter, the GDPR has been in effect since May 25, 2018.  Yet Germany’s fines have not changed in size since then—despite GDPR’s Article 83, which allows blockbuster fines of up to 4% of global turnover.

When the levy breaks:  Recent large fines levied by the Berlin Data Protection Agency signal that the era of light enforcement may be over.  The fines corresponded with a new fine model published by the Agency this October.  To be blunt, the new model has and will result in fines that are much higher than formerly levied.

Why it matters:  It has taken longer than projected for most EU member countries to whip up the mechanisms and organizations needed to enforce the GDPR.  That will change.  Given that the GDPR covers worker data, the cost of infractions is sure to rise.