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January 15 2014

Germany Appoints a New Federal DP Commissioner

Andrea Vosshoff is the new Federal Data Protection Commissioner after being elected by the Bundestag with a majority of 403 votes. She is a CDU (Christian Democratic Union) politician, who sat in the Bundestag, the lower house of the legislature, from 1998 until September 2013. Peter Schaar retired after 10 years in the post.

The Bundestag made its decision based on the recommendation of the new coalition CDU|CSU|SPD government, which was formed on 17 December and proposed Andrea Vosshoff at its first cabinet meeting. Andrea Vosshoff is not well known in the data protection community unlike Peter Schaar, who was formerly the Data Protection Commissioner for Hamburg. However, it is common practice in many countries to appoint a person to head a national Data Protection Authority who is new to the subject. The Federal Commissioner has responsibility for the federal public sector and Telecommunications companies. Enforcement of the law for the private sector is carried out by the 16 Land (state) Data Protection Authorities.