Systematic government access to private-sector data in Germany
Author(s): Paul M. Schwartz
Germany has a strong commitment to the rule of law and to information privacy. Its concept of the ‘rule of law’ is best summed up in the idea of the Rechtsstaat, or ‘legal state’. The Rechtsstaat is a state that is based on civil liberties as well as the expression and protection of constitutional rights. For example, Article 1(1) of the German constitution, the Basic Law, states that human dignity is inviolable, and that the duty of all state authority is to respect and protect it.1 The Basic Law’s Article 2(1) in conjunction with Article 1(1) guarantees the right of the free development of the personality. Article 20(3) of the Basic Law explicitly binds all three branches of government to the constitutional order and to law and justice.