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Data Protection Ranking: Germany Has the Most Violations

Updated: Nov 10, 2021

Since the introduction of the GDPR, nearly 80,000 data protection violations have been recorded in Germany with a total value of 69 million euros.

  • Germany has had the most data protection breaches since the introduction of the GDPR

  • Germany recorded 76 percent more data breaches in the pandemic year, far more than any other country

Munich, 02.07.21 - On the third anniversary of the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) being introduced, data protection experts at heyData have published a study that provides insights into the current level of data protection in European countries. The direct country comparison also shows where important data protection measures are particularly widespread in the economy and provides an assessment of data protection competence among private individuals. Data privacy violations and their sanctions in the form of fines were also taken into account in the study.

Germany performs well overall, placing second in the European data privacy ranking, with 80.3 out of a possible 100.0 points. Particular mention must be made of the comparatively high number of data privacy violations uncovered. 77,747 breaches have been registered since the introduction of the GDPR in May 2018. This places Germany unchallenged at the top of Europe. This is a clear sign that the topic of data protection is being intensively addressed within the Federal Republic. This is also reflected in the total fines imposed. In the last three years, Germany has imposed just under 69 million euros in fines.

Although Germany takes consistent action against data protection offenses, German consumers are also quite afraid of data misuse. 70 percent of the population fear that their data could fall into the wrong hands, as the study shows.

Table: Europe in data protection ranking. The entire ranking and all information on the methodology can be found at:

"Compared with the rest of Europe, companies in Germany are for the most part behaving in a very exemplary manner. However, this is also necessary. Law enforcement in Germany is being handled strictly. We are seeing a significant increase in violations and also fines during the pandemic. Especially companies that have rediscovered online commerce for themselves during the pandemic should definitely make sure to be GDPR compliant from the start," said Milos Djurdjevic, CEO and founder of heyData.

Other findings:

  • People in Ireland are most afraid of data breaches. There, 83 percent of the population is afraid that their data will fall into the wrong hands.

  • Germany ranks second, with 70% of the population worried about data breaches

  • Despite widespread fear of data misuse, only 18 percent of Germans protect themselves by using anti-tracking software.

  • Italy and Germany impose by far the most fines for violations of the GDPR.

  • The largest decrease in data breaches in the pandemic year was in the United Kingdom. Whether there is a link to the UK's exit from the EU could not be established.

About heyData: heyData is a leading data protection and compliance company headquartered in Berlin with offices in Munich and Koblenz. With a digital data protection solution, the heyData platform, the company helps its customers maintain an overview in data protection and fulfill their data protection tasks. Via the platform, heyData audits its customers, trains employees and provides the documentation required in data protection. As a digital data protection officer, heyData is also available to customers at any time to answer data protection inquiries personally and quickly via employees trained as lawyers.

Press contact:

ABCD Agency

Jessica Hughes

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