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The ninth edition of the Big Brother Awards Germany ceremony took place on
24 October 2008 in Bielefeld, Germany. The “Oscars for data leeches” event
was organized by EDRi-member FoeBuD that gave seven negative awards.
The Big Brother Award 2008 in the “Europe/EU” category went to The Council
of the European Union (EU Ministers Council) in Brussels for the EU terror
list. On this list, numerous organisations and individual persons have been
labelled as “terrorists” and placed under strict sanctions, leading to
severe violations of human rights. There has been neither a democratic
mandate for establishing this data collection, nor is it administrated with
any democratic control. For a long time, the people affected have not even
been given a legal hearing, let alone legal protection against this
stigmatisation by the authorities.
The “Health and Social Services” category prize was won by the Deutsche
Angestellten-Krankenkasse (“German Employees’ Health Insurance”, DAK, a
statutory health insurer) for the unauthorised sharing of 200.000
chronically ill patients’ data with a private company, without giving
information to the insurance customers or asking for their consent.
The BigBrotherAward 2008 in the category “Consumers” went to the members of
the 16th German Bundestag (the Lower House in Germany’s Federal Parliament)
for waving through a number of laws which enforce the collection, long-term
storing and sharing of detailed data of travellers. A similar prize in the
“Consumers” category was also received by the Work Group of German Market
and Social Research Institutes for their recommendation in a guideline to
have consumer interviews by telephone monitored secretly, and to continue
propagating this illegal guideline even after protests from the data
Deutsche Telekom AG also won an award in the “Workplace and Communications”
category for their illegal use of telecommunication connections data to
snoop on Telekom supervisory board members and journalists
In “Technology” category, the Yello Strom GmbH (Ltd) was hailed as the
winner for their pioneering role in introducing digital electricity
technology for private customers. With this technology, electricity
consumption can be registered with single-second accuracy for each household
and even for individual devices, potentially leading to a detailed
surveillance of activities in the home.
Ministry of Economy and Technology also received the “Politics” section
award for passing the law about the ELENA procedure und the associated
forced introduction of the electronic signature.
Big Brother Awards Germany 2008
Winners BBA Germany 2008