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How are my medical data protected in Germany?

Healthcare providers such as doctors and dentists must adhere to strict data protection standards in Germany. You will find an overview of your rights here.

If you undergo treatment in Germany, personal data about you are regularly collected, processed and used by healthcare service-providers, and possibly by healthcare insurers. Great importance is attached to the protection of these personal data all over Europe, and hence also in Germany.

Personal data consist of all information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (referred to below as a “data subject”). These data, and particularly the appropriate medical data, are particularly sensitive. For this reason, there are particular requirements for the handling of medical data. You as a patient should be able to be assured that no unauthorised individuals can gain access to your data. In addition to the data protection regulations, professional secrecy and the obligation of confidentiality that is incumbent on your doctor or dentist are also intended to ensure that your data are protected.

The collection, processing and use of the data is hence only permitted within the framework of the law – or if you as the person concerned have consented after being given detailed prior information.

You will find statutory regulations on data processing in

  • the European General Data Protection Regulation,
  • the general provisions of the German Federal Data Protection Act (Bundesdatenschutzgesetz), and
  • the data protection laws of the Länder.

Specific provisions can be found in

  • the individual Books of the German Social Code (Books II to XII of the Social Code [Sozialgesetzbuch]).

The European General Data Protection Regulation directly impacts on German national law, and is therefore applied directly.

Data protection is primarily based on the following principles:

  • Earmarking: The data are only to be used for the specific case as regulated by law.
  • Necessity: Only those data are to be used which are absolutely neces-sary to achieve the defined purpose.
  • Data economy and data avoidance: As few data as possible and as many as necessary are to be collected, processed and used.

Your rights regarding data protection in detail

Please note that other supervisory authorities may be responsible, de-pending on the Federal Land and the field of activity of the party collect-ing, processing or using the data.



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