The civil rights group NOYB has launched a series of complaints against Germany’s major political parties for violating EU data protection rules during the 2021 election campaign. According to the claims, the SPD and the Greens, alongside the conservative CDU, AfD, Die Linke, and environmental-democratic ÖDP parties allegedly utilized unlawful microtargeting on Facebook in order to gain more voters.
The Berlin data protection commissioner is now tasked with determining whether or not these parties used GDPR-illegal practices. The AfD party claims that this kind of behavior is common amongst large platforms such as Facebook, but NOYB adamantly insists that Facebook users have not given explicit permission for their politically sensitive data to be processed without consent.
NOYB asserts that leaving this practice unchecked is detrimental to democracy itself as it permits politicians to make tailormade promises to voters without having to answer to anyone in public. As a result, strengthening measures to protect citizens’ data must be strongly considered.