Greater Access Rights: Authorities query many more accounts

              Sunday, October 20, 2019

Every account claim is an "interference in the fundamental right to informational self-determination," say privacy advocates.
(Photo: picture alliance / dpa)

              The account retrieval process is designed to track tax fraud and social abuse. In the first nine months, the authorities have already made use of this right to access 100,000 times more than last year. Data protectors demand a review of the legal basis.
              The number of visits by authorities to citizens' accounts has risen in the first nine months of the year, according to a media report. As the "Welt am Sonntag" reported, the Federal Central Tax Office answered 688,608 inquiries in the period. That's 100,000 more than in the first nine months of 2018, wrote the newspaper, citing figures from the Federal Ministry of Finance.Datenschützer demand a review of the legal basis. "I think an evaluation of the account retrieval process for urgently needed," said the Federal Data Protection Commissioner Ulrich Kelber the "World on Sunday". Every access to the accounts is an "interference with the fundamental right to informational self-determination". Especially since the number of appeals by bailiffs has been rising for years, one must seriously ask whether "the current form of this instrument introduced for regulatory reasons is still relatively". He sees the risk of personal confusion, also missing a threshold. The account retrieval process will be followed, among other things, tax fraud and social abuse. According to the Federal Central Tax Office, it is available to financial and social authorities as well as bailiffs. The result of these releases contains the account master data. Account movements or statuses can not be determined. Due to greater access rights for public authorities, the number of queries has increased in recent years.

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