Discussion Papers

Detlef Garbe

Datenspuren in digitalisierten Telekommunikationsnetzen - Ein Vergleich der Datenschutzregelungen in europäischen Ländern am Fall ISDN

Nr. 103 / Dezember 1992


The modernization of telephone networks by the digitalization of transmission- and switching technology as well as the implementation of ISDN can be regarded as trends all over Europe. By this technical progress the handling of communication data and billing procedures changes. New services for the customers like itemized billing and new characteristics in the telephone service like calling-line-identification or call forwarding require new thoughts and regulations with regard to the protection of privacy. The necessity to enact new data protection rules for the telecommunications sector applies to all countries which implement new technologies and services. For different reasons there is also the necessity to push forward a regulation on the European level. Though, an observer of the media could get the impression that only in Germany the protection of communication is threatened; the different reaction level of data- and consumer protectors in the European countries demands at least an explanation. Such explanation attempts at first fail because there is scarcely information about data protection regulations in the telecommunications sector for particular European countries. The primary concern of this study is to collect this information, to analyse it systematically and to compare it. The study contains a documentation of the state-of-the-art in European countries in the following areas: - the integration of data protection into the fundamental rights or into the constitution

- statements of the data protection legislation with relevance to telecommunication

- the organization of data protection by Telecom-Operators or by regulatory authorities

- storage of communication data in ISDN or in digital networks in general

- the regulations of ISDN-Services, e.g. itemized billing and calling-line- identification. In addition to that, the study tries to determinate those factors which fix the data protection regulations in the countries and in particular for Telecom-Operators and Service Providers. Furthermore, the study tries to give a contribution to the better understanding of the relationship between technology development and regulation problems on the one hand and cultural systems of societies and norm genesis on the other hand. Only German language version available.

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