Zalando: privacy adviser review evaluation software Zonar

The Berlin data protection officer Maja Smoltczyk wants to examine a software for the mutual evaluation of coworkers with the Internet dealer Zalando. The review will include data protection and technical aspects of the use of the software, said authorities spokeswoman Dalia Kues on Wednesday at In addition, the company was advised to stop using the software for the time being. "This is a non-binding recommendation that the company does not commit"said Kues. As this is an ongoing process, no further details on the review could be given.

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  1. WAGO Kontakttechnik GmbH (according to Swiss law) & Co. KG, Minden
  2. Hays AG, Bayreuth

Last week a study became known that examined a personal software developed by Zalando and used for three and a half years. At Zonar, managers and employees assess the strengths and weaknesses of 5,000 colleagues. Europe's largest online fashion retailer creates a sense of surveillance, performance pressure and stress, said Philipp Staab and Sascha-Christopher Geschke of the Berlin Humboldt University in a study commissioned by the Hanns Böckler Foundation (PDF).

The group is thus depressing wages and creating a climate of fear in which temporary employees fear for their jobs. The software lets itself "best described as a socio-technical system for producing and legitimizing inequality", Zalando rejected the allegations.

According to a report in the Süddeutsche Zeitung the review is expected "not completed before the beginning of next year" his. According to the authority, examiners are sent to the company to conduct the investigation. In the end, the data protection officer decides whether Zonar is compatible with data protection or even should be banned.

According to a spokesman for the authorities, Zalando did not have to proactively report the use of the software to the authorities. "However, due to the very detailed documentation of the employees' performance and the resulting high risk for the rights and freedoms of the persons concerned, a data protection assessment had to be carried out", it was said. In principle, companies would have to inform the data protection authorities in the federal states if a follow-up assessment leaves a high level of risk.

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