National case details
Registration ID: 15 O 402/12
Instance: 1st Instance
Case status: Final
Area of law
Identification of the case
- BGB §§ 305 (1) 1, (2) Nr. 1, 307 (1), (2), 314, 242, 516; TMG §§ 12, 13, 15; BDSG §§ 4, 4a, 28, 35; UWG § 7
- Art. 5 Nr. 3 Brussels-I-Regulation
Summary of the case
The defendant offers numerous services on her website, i.a. a well-known internet search machine, specialised search engines for images, maps, books, movies, e-mail and calendar services. Many of these services can be used without registration and free of charge, whereas some services (i.a. the email service) require registration and some are chargeable.
- Civil judicial enforcement
- Collective enforcement - Consumer association's action
The focus of the district court Berlin is on three main issues: whether German courts have jurisdiction resp. whether German law is applicable, the extent of the possibility to control privacy policies and terms of services, and whether certain clauses of the terms and conditions are void.
Additional notes on the decision
Regulation (EU) 2016/679 entailed a revision of the Bundesdatenschutzgesetz (BDSG, Federal Data Protection Act) and the Datenschutzgesetz (Datenschutzgesetz). According to the new § 1 BDSG, the act is applicable to private relationships when data is processed or used within the German borders.
The impact of the case on national case law is still unclear as there is a split in German courts regarding the applicability of German law. Unlike the district court Berlin, the High Administrative Court Schleswig held regarding Facebook (which is also established in Ireland) that Irish law is applicable. (OVG Schleswig 4 MB 11/13, 22.04.2013).
The Court of Appeal in Berlin agrees with the district court in all counts (KG, 21.03.2019 - 23 U 268/13). It stresses once more that German courts have jurisdiction according to art. 5 nr. 3 Brussel-I-Regulation.