Regional court: wifi operators do not have to store user data

Such an obligation results neither from the telecommunication law nor from the copyright law, the judges found in a judgement published on monday (reference number: 17 HK O 1398/11 of 12 december 2011). January). The case against a company that offers its services primarily to hotels and guesthouses was dismissed. The complaint was filed by a company that operates WLAN networks throughout germany.

In 2010, the plaintiff demanded of the defendant party in the form of a warning that it could only provide WLAN networks if it also identified the users. In addition, it is only allowed to advertise compliance with the legal requirements on its website if it does so. The ruling states that no such collection of data had taken place. However, this is also not required, as the district court found.

"This means that wifi internet access, for example in hotels, guesthouses, train stations and airports, can continue to be offered anonymously," said the arbeitskreis vorratsdatenspeicherung, an association of data protection and net activists, which buried the ruling on monday. If it is not necessary to identify users of free hotspots, then it is also not permissible, explained michael ebeling of the working group on data retention. Finally, the telecommunications act prohibits the collection of data that is not required. "This practice must now come to an end."

However, in a blog post on the ruling, the lawyer jens further explained: "providers may, but are not obliged to, collect data to identify their users."

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