Privacy Law

Privacy law has become increasingly important in day-to-day business in recent years. Privacy law plays a significant role in every area of corporate business – be it the processing customer transactions, supplier relations, online and direct marketing, fraud prevention or in any way connected with employees. Likewise in communications with the public and between contracting parties, the issue of data protection has created a mindset of expectations towards companies as an independent right - and not just through the imposition of attention-grabbing, public administrative penalties.

Hence, privacy law has become a mandatory component of every business organisation and compliance strategy, and must be taken into account for entrepreneurial decisions and arrangements.

On 25 May 2016, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) entered into force. By 25 May 2018, all processing of personal data must comply with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation - a task of particular importance with a view of the significant increase of fines for violations of data protection rules.

Consulting services of our lawyers for privacy law:

At Derra, Meyer & Partner, we have included privacy law in our fields of expertise and offer comprehensive legal advice and assistance. Here are some examples of our consulting services:

  • Compliance check pursuant to privacy law
  • Adaptation of data processing in your company to the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  • Comments and reviews as proof privacy-compliant data processing, as well as of new business ideas and models
  • Support for the development and implementation of offline and online marketing activities including Data Driven Marketing and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems
  • Internet privacy and privacy-compliant design of websites, online stores and online portals
  • Support for projects as part of Industry 4.0, Machine2Machine communication and Internet of Things
  • Deployment and use of cloud services, ranging in particular from 'Infrastructure as a Service' to 'Communication/Collaboration as a Service' and 'Business Process as a Service', especially in a cross-border context
  • Privacy-related legal advice on outsourcing and sale of businesses, in particular in connection with the sale of assets
  • Specific legal consultation in privacy matters in the telecommunications and banking sector
  • Privacy training for your company in accordance with the needs of your company and/or training on specific issues
  • Coaching and support of internal and external data protection officers
  • Support for insolvency administrators in privacy matters
  • Representation and protection of your interests in inquiries, requests for information and investigation by regulators
  • Internal support in preparing for investigations by regulators

Multidisciplinary consulting services by privacy lawyers at Derra, Meyer & Partners

Our privacy lawyers offer tailor-made legal advice. As a client, you can profit from the possibility to draw from our expertise in other relevant fields of the law, such as labour law, banking law, corporate law, commercial law, insolvency law, criminal law, agency and competition law in conjunction with the privacy issues as required by your individual requirements.

As a multidisciplinary team, our experts have prepared an opinion for the BvD Berufsverband der Datenschutzbeauftragten (professional association of data protection officers) on the role of data protection officers in the General Data Protection Regulation (https://www.bvdnet.de/gutachten-des-bvd-zu-stellung-pflichten-und-haftung-des-dsb-in-der-ds-gvo/, last updated: 20 April 2018) and on the guideline 'Durchsuchung als wichtiger Bestandteil der IT-Security-Policy' (search as an important element of IT security policy) on behalf of EuroCloud Deutschland_eco e.V. (https://www.eurocloud.de/2018/dokumente/durchsuchung-wichtiges-element-der-it-security-policy.html, last updated: 20 April 2018).

Our legal experts are represented on the board of the professional association of data protection officers and of EuroCloud and have a proven track record as sought-after authors and speakers on privacy law.

 

Contact Person

Current Issues

01 Apr
2020

Facilitation of tenancy law and other permanent contractual obligations for consumers and micro-enterprises

On 27.03.2020, the Bundesrat (Upper house of Parliament) approved numerous changes, among others in tenancy law, but also for other contractual relationships, which the Bundestag had passed two days earlier.

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On 27.03.2020, the Bundesrat (Upper house of Parliament) approved numerous changes, among others in tenancy law, but also for other contractual relationships, which the Bundestag had passed two days earlier.


The law aims at alleviating the consequences of the Corona pandemic for citizens who, among other things, earn considerably lower incomes through job losses, short-time work or childcare and who are therefore often no longer able to cover their running costs such as rent, loans and other maintenance costs. However, it is also intended to help micro-enterprises (companies with fewer than 10 employees or an annual balance sheet total of less than EUR 2 million) confronted with considerable losses in turnover due to the corona pandemic.


The law not only provides relief for tenency/lease contracts and loan obligations, but also for a large number of other so-called permanent debt relationships (i.e. contracts under which the individual is obliged to make monthly recurring payments), from which payment obligations arise.
However, it should be noted that payment obligations arising from the contractual relationships do not cease to apply!
All measures described below are subject to one key condition: the consumer or micro-enterprise is particularly affected by the effects of the COVID pandemic. The debtors have to prove that they are particularly affected by the protective measures initiated by the authorities or the resulting economic consequences such as loss of jobs, short-time work, childcare, lack of orders, cancellations etc.

 

Continuing obligations

With regard to continuing obligations, Article 5 of the Act, amending Article 240 of the Introductory Act to the Civil Code, stipulates that the consumer who is party to a contract with a continuing obligation in the field of basic public services (e.g. electricity, water, gas and telecommunications), may refuse due payments until 30 June 2020 on the condition that the contract was concluded before 8 March 2020 and he is not in a position to provide for payment without jeopardising his reasonable livelihood or those of his relatives due to the Corona pandemic.
The microentrepreneurs, on the other hand, have a far-reaching right to refuse fulfilment of their contractual obligations. Until 30 June 2020, they can refuse fulfilment of their contractual obligations for all essential contracts that are necessary for the appropriate continuation of their business operations, including leasing, insurance and beer supply contracts.


However, this temporary right to refuse fulfilment may not be exercised if this is unacceptable for the creditor and would endanger his economic basis. In that case, however, the consumer or the microentrepreneur is entitled to terminate the contractual relationship prematurely in order to free himself from those payment obligations he is unable to meet.
However, the right to refuse fulfilment of contractual obligations does not apply to tenancy/leasing relationships, employment and loan agreements.

 

Tenancy / lease agreements

With regard to tenancy / lease agreements, the following special rules apply:
Tenants/leaseholders as well as micro-enterprises unable to pay their rent due to the spreading of the coronavirus are protected against termination of their contract for a limited period of time. At the moment, this only applies if rent is not paid within the period from 01.04.2020 to 30.06.2020.  Termination of the contract on the basis of failure to pay rent is excluded only until 30.06.2022. Until that date, the outstanding rent from the period April to June 2020 must have been paid.

 

Consumer loan agreement

Further measures to alleviate the effects of the Coronavirus regard consumer loan agreements:
In the case of consumer loan agreements concluded before 15.03.2020, payments (interest and principal) due in the period from April to June 2020 are to be deferred for 3 months. However, the parties to the contract may also make different agreements. During the period of deferral termination should be excluded. If no agreement is reached between the parties, the term of the contract shall be automatically extended by the deferred 3 months. Here, too, deferral is not feasible if it is not acceptable for the lender.


The regulations concerning the loans also concern all joint and several claims for compensation under § 426 BGB.
The Federal Government is authorised to extend the regulations on consumer loan agreements to micro-entrepreneurs, but has not yet done so.

 

Residential property law

Relief is also available in numerous other areas of law, including residential property law.
The aim is to enable owner communities remain capable of acting, despite the currently limited freedom of movement and assembly. Powers of the current administrators have been therefore extended until their re-election or the appointment of a new administrator. Furthermore, the continuation of the previous business plan was ordered. According to the legislator, however, the owner communities ought not hold their meetings online or in written form like the cooperatives or associations, but hold them in their usual form after the main protective measures have been terminated.

 

Final remark

As a general rule, all regulations are  time-limited. An extension of the deadlines by the Federal Government until 30.09.2020 is possible and already provided for by law.
Once the current exceptional situation has ended, there will be a return to the previous legal situation.

Please note that the above information only reflects the current state of information and may change over time. Neither can the information provided under any circumstances replace a consultation tailored to the individual case in question. Further legal and updated information on the Corona crisis can also be found at www.derra.eu. Our attorneys will be happy to provide you with individual advice at any time.

On 27.03.2020, the Bundesrat (Upper house of Parliament) approved numerous changes, among others in tenancy law, but also for other contractual relationships, which the Bundestag had passed two days earlier.


The law aims at alleviating the consequences of the Corona pandemic for citizens who, among other things, earn considerably lower incomes through job losses, short-time work or childcare and who are therefore often no longer able to cover their running costs such as rent, loans and other maintenance costs. However, it is also intended to help micro-enterprises (companies with fewer than 10 employees or an annual balance sheet total of less than EUR 2 million) confronted with considerable losses in turnover due to the corona pandemic.


The law not only provides relief for tenency/lease contracts and loan obligations, but also for a large number of other so-called permanent debt relationships (i.e. contracts under which the individual is obliged to make monthly recurring payments), from which payment obligations arise.
However, it should be noted that payment obligations arising from the contractual relationships do not cease to apply!
All measures described below are subject to one key condition: the consumer or micro-enterprise is particularly affected by the effects of the COVID pandemic. The debtors have to prove that they are particularly affected by the protective measures initiated by the authorities or the resulting economic consequences such as loss of jobs, short-time work, childcare, lack of orders, cancellations etc.

 

Continuing obligations

With regard to continuing obligations, Article 5 of the Act, amending Article 240 of the Introductory Act to the Civil Code, stipulates that the consumer who is party to a contract with a continuing obligation in the field of basic public services (e.g. electricity, water, gas and telecommunications), may refuse due payments until 30 June 2020 on the condition that the contract was concluded before 8 March 2020 and he is not in a position to provide for payment without jeopardising his reasonable livelihood or those of his relatives due to the Corona pandemic.
The microentrepreneurs, on the other hand, have a far-reaching right to refuse fulfilment of their contractual obligations. Until 30 June 2020, they can refuse fulfilment of their contractual obligations for all essential contracts that are necessary for the appropriate continuation of their business operations, including leasing, insurance and beer supply contracts.


However, this temporary right to refuse fulfilment may not be exercised if this is unacceptable for the creditor and would endanger his economic basis. In that case, however, the consumer or the microentrepreneur is entitled to terminate the contractual relationship prematurely in order to free himself from those payment obligations he is unable to meet.
However, the right to refuse fulfilment of contractual obligations does not apply to tenancy/leasing relationships, employment and loan agreements.

 

Tenancy / lease agreements

With regard to tenancy / lease agreements, the following special rules apply:
Tenants/leaseholders as well as micro-enterprises unable to pay their rent due to the spreading of the coronavirus are protected against termination of their contract for a limited period of time. At the moment, this only applies if rent is not paid within the period from 01.04.2020 to 30.06.2020.  Termination of the contract on the basis of failure to pay rent is excluded only until 30.06.2022. Until that date, the outstanding rent from the period April to June 2020 must have been paid.

 

Consumer loan agreement

Further measures to alleviate the effects of the Coronavirus regard consumer loan agreements:
In the case of consumer loan agreements concluded before 15.03.2020, payments (interest and principal) due in the period from April to June 2020 are to be deferred for 3 months. However, the parties to the contract may also make different agreements. During the period of deferral termination should be excluded. If no agreement is reached between the parties, the term of the contract shall be automatically extended by the deferred 3 months. Here, too, deferral is not feasible if it is not acceptable for the lender.


The regulations concerning the loans also concern all joint and several claims for compensation under § 426 BGB.
The Federal Government is authorised to extend the regulations on consumer loan agreements to micro-entrepreneurs, but has not yet done so.

 

Residential property law

Relief is also available in numerous other areas of law, including residential property law.
The aim is to enable owner communities remain capable of acting, despite the currently limited freedom of movement and assembly. Powers of the current administrators have been therefore extended until their re-election or the appointment of a new administrator. Furthermore, the continuation of the previous business plan was ordered. According to the legislator, however, the owner communities ought not hold their meetings online or in written form like the cooperatives or associations, but hold them in their usual form after the main protective measures have been terminated.

 

Final remark

As a general rule, all regulations are  time-limited. An extension of the deadlines by the Federal Government until 30.09.2020 is possible and already provided for by law.
Once the current exceptional situation has ended, there will be a return to the previous legal situation.

Please note that the above information only reflects the current state of information and may change over time. Neither can the information provided under any circumstances replace a consultation tailored to the individual case in question. Further legal and updated information on the Corona crisis can also be found at www.derra.eu. Our attorneys will be happy to provide you with individual advice at any time.

Publications

Dr. Jens Eckhardt / Rüpke / v. Lewinski
Verlag C.H. Beck, 2018
Dr. Jens Eckhardt / Kramer / Tausch
TKMmed!a
Dr. Jens Eckhardt / Bergmann / Möhrle / Herb
Boorberg Verlag
Verlag C. H. Beck München, Mitautor seit 1. Auflage
Verlag C. H. Beck München, Mitautor seit 1. Auflage
Mitautor und Leiter der Taskforce „Datenschutz“ der AG „Rechtsrahmen im Cloud Computing“, Trusted Cloud-Initiative des BMWi
Verlag C. H. Beck München, Mitautor seit 4. Auflage, 2013
Dr. Jens Eckhardt / Dr. Brink (Landesbeauftragter für den Datenschutz Baden-Württemberg)
ZD Editorial 1/2015 und ZD 2015, 205 ff.