Tech

Data octopus award: 20 years of the Big Brother Awards – the anniversary edition

The government of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Brandenburg Ministry of the Interior, the Federal and State Interior Ministers Conference and the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport are winners of the Big Brother Award 2020. Some won in the category “Forgetting about history”, others in the category “digitization”. The federal government ultimately triumphed by doing nothing and tolerating the use of Ramstein for US drone attacks.

Among the private companies, there were awards for Tesla, Hennes & Mauritz as well as BrainCo and the Science Campus Tübingen as double winners. Prices are starting immediately Awarded in the course of a gala in the Bielefelder Hechelei, in which only 50 guests and 50 helpers are allowed to participate due to the corona.



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Since yesterday, Thursday, according to a TV report, there has been a discussion about what the cameras in Tesla’s vehicles can do, what they can and cannot do. There is a first Big Brother Award for Tesla tonight, because the jury has a.) The Tesla technology and b.) The data protection information and General terms and conditions viewed by Tesla and found to be defective.

For hackers, such an electric car is the playground par excellence, for example with the camera to the rear that scans and recognizes the license plate number and can then send a warning of a chaser on the display. The next “crime scene” will show how the commissioners go to waste. But data protectionists despair beforehand because a large amount of data is collected and every driver with the use of the car must agree that it is transferred “to countries outside your country of residence, including the USA”. Because anyone who contradicts the data transfer online receives the succinct answer that “limited functionality” will apply immediately. What is deleted from the telematics log data, remote analysis data, other vehicle data, the maintenance history and the navigation data is not explained.

In the opinion of the jury, the various cameras that monitor the car in parking or guard mode and record when someone approaches the vehicle are also questionable. The camera that is aimed at the driver should also be questionable. It is supposed to report if someone stains or damages the car. With the presentation of the Big Brother Award in the “Mobility” category, the jury clarifies the problem that data protection is quickly interpreted as being hostile to technology: “We have nothing against vehicle assistance systems, including semi-automated driving. This requires sensors and so-called artificial intelligence . But this data can and must remain largely in the car from a data protection perspective. ”

As is known, Tesla vehicles are to be built in Brandenburg. This federal state can now adorn itself with a Big Brother Award in the always popular category “Authorities and Administration”, because the Ministry of the Interior has violated data protection standards with the software “Kesy”, as the responsible state data protection officer Dagmar Hartge complained. Even after this complaint, the authority continued to trick and did not delete all the data for a long time, but moved it from a server to magnetic tapes, allegedly on the instructions of the public prosecutor.

“Kesy” itself is software for “event-related automatic license plate search”, as permitted by the Brandenburg Police Act. However, it was not operated in search mode on a case-by-case basis, in which a vehicle is specifically searched for, but in a recording mode in which all license plates are saved. This data storage for the movement data of cars came out in the case of a missing girl because a car belonging to an initially suspect could be identified by “Kesy” before the actual manhunt and the Berlin police told about it.

The Brandenburg colleagues were not pleased that the use of the recording mode became known. The price for this deliberate data breach goes to the Brandenburg Interior Minister Michael Stübgen (CDU) who will certainly not understand this award: Stübgen had defended the use of the recording mode with the argument that the shutdown only criminals would be happy. The constitutional court of Brandenburg will decide what will happen to “Kesy”. A driver complains against using the recording mode.

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