Eurojuris Magazine


Data protection under the lens in Vienna

Data protection under the lens in Vienna

Thorsten Hauröder (EJ Germany) chairs a practice group at international level, and organised a lecture on data protection. Here are the highlights of this event, which took place at a time when this precise topic is constantly hitting the news.

As it has become customary for practice groups, Thorsten has recruited an external speaker to give more of an insider's view to the audience. Mr Manfred Klika, in-house lawyer of Raiffeisen Ware, an Austrian company that employs over 13,000 people in the field of agricultural products and raw materials, and Mr Edsard Ravelli, from the Dutch internet company Diginext.

According to Thorsten, “A lively discussion about aspects subject to data protection law arose immediately. It became apparent that this topic is of prime practical importance for us lawyers.” The debate reached a peak when Mr Ravelli made a very impressive demonstration: before the meeting, he had prepared a mechanism to re-direct the Internet connection from the venue to his computer, giving him access to the phones of some of the attendees. Of course, this was not meant to be malignant, but the demonstration was very impressive: it is not very difficult to get access to personal data, especially in a public place.

“Altogether, it was a successful, not only practice-orientated but also very demonstrative event,” said Thorsten. And we can only agree – at a time when the actions of the NSA and other intelligence services worldwide are being pinpointed as dangerous, one can only wonder at what can be done to the highly sensitive data that lawyers exchange with their customers or between each other. Not only by a public agency, but also by a private one...

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