Patrick Mustu Legal Counsel Germany
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, NEW REGULATIONS AND OTHER UPDATES
Red tape is a never ending story. Laws and regulations keep changing, and there is always something new. On this page, dedicated to readers of MELTA's "Guide for Freelance Language Teachers in Germany", I will keep you posted on new developments and issues not addressed in the guide.
Here is an easy way to get your very own Datenschutzerklärung: Go to this page and tick the appropriate boxes, including everything that applies to the web site you are running (cookies, Google Analytics, Facebook/Twitter plugins, etc.). Always tick "Allgemeine Datenschutzerklärung" plus any other items that are relevant. Then, click on "Datenschutzerklärung erstellen". You can then copy the text that appears on the next page (either the text on the left or the html code on the right) and put it on your web site.
And remember: even if it sounds ludicrous, these sections are legal requirements, and omitting them is an offence that carries a fine and gives rise to costly warning, cease & desist letters that competitors, public chambers, consumer and business associations may issue.
UPDATE 2: Entertainment expenses: On page 13: bills exceeding €250 must be issued in your name. The amount has been changed with retroactive effect from 1 January 2017. Issued in your name means that your name and address must be printed on the bill (no handwriting).
UPDATE 3: A little monster: On 25 May 2018, the EU General Data Protection Regulation will take effect. Anybody who processes data (client details) will be affected. There is a lot of panic at the moment as the regulation is wishy-washy when it comes to precise measures you must take. Little will change for your online services (web site) when you already have a privacy statement in German called "Datenschutzerklärung". You can include this statement either on your "Impressum" page, or as a dedicated section with a link from your main page. Should you use an online tool to generate your statement and it does not list specific rights under the regulation, you can add the following sentence:
"Sie können jederzeit Auskunft über die erhobenen Daten verlangen und Rechte auf Berichtigung, Löschung, Einschränkung der Verarbeitung, Datenübertragbarkeit und Widerspruch geltend machen."
Please refer to the handbook for compliance with "Impressum" requirements.
When you use forms or other documents for collecting data (e.g. course registrations), you should also place a note at the bottom of such documents:
"Ihre Daten werden vertaulich und in Übereinstimmung mit datenschutzrechtlichen Vorschriften behandelt. Sie werden gelöscht, wenn der Zweck ihrer Erhebung entfallen ist. Eine Weitergabe an Dritte erfolgt nicht. Sie können jederzeit Auskunft über die erhobenen Daten verlangen und Rechte auf Berichtigung, Löschung, Einschränkung der Verarbeitung, Datenübertragbarkeit und Widerspruch geltend machen."
Please note that another EU regulation will change things for online activities in 2019.
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