• Sun. Dec 10th, 2023

Debeka:public prosecutor’s office investigates accusation of illegal data trading


May 10, 2023
Debeka:public prosecutor's office investigates accusation of illegal data trading

Media reports about this procedure have now been checked to see whether they contained the initial suspicion of prosecutable offenses, the public prosecutor’s office announced in coblenz on monday. The accusations were first reported by the "handelsblatt" newspaper. Meanwhile, debeka announced that it would conduct internal and external audits.

The coblenz insurance company had already admitted misconduct in the 1980s and 1990s in a statement last thursday. Sales staff had acquired addresses of potential customers on their own account, which had been redistributed between employees. The company’s management team at the time also lacked sensitivity for this data protection issue.

"And I expressly include myself in this self-criticism," debeka CEO uwe laue was quoted as saying. Laue has been at the helm of the company since 2002 and has also headed the private health insurance association since this summer. From 1994 to 1998, laue was debeka’s head of sales.

As a consequence, debeka introduced new behavioral guidelines for its approximately 17,000 employees. This is intended to sanction possible misconduct in the future. The company has always rejected deals with address traders.

On monday, debeka began external and internal audits, according to its own statements. The federal financial supervisory authority (bafin) had been appointed to carry out the external audit. Contact has also been made with the public prosecutor’s office in coblenz. The auditing firm KPMG has been commissioned to take a close look at internal procedures.

According to a company spokesman, the investigations are primarily concerned with allegations that addresses were purchased from public authorities. For years now, the company has been obliging its employees by signature to observe the regulations of the respective authorities when dealing with public officials.

The office of the rhineland-palatinate data protection commissioner, edgar wagner, initiated proceedings against debeka "on suspicion of criminal data trafficking". The company was given the opportunity to explain its actions, according to the state data protection commissioner.

"We are in contact with debeka," said stefan brink, an employee of the data protection supervisory authority, on monday. If there have been actual violations of data protection, a fine of up to 300,000 euros per individual case could be imposed for a breach of regulations. If it was a matter of intentional violations with an "intent to maximize profits," then it would even be a criminal offense.


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