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German Research Institute for Public Administration

Digital Police Law and Digital Security

The more the digital principle penetrates the world of work and our day-to-day existence, the less it is that norms designed for analogue processes are able to precisely control the new risks for public security and order lurking on the Internet. Police / regulative law, both general and particular, has difficultly in locating digital search and investigative measures in its norm structure. So far legal practice has necessarily had to make do with analogies or a fortiori conclusions concerning the rights that already exist in the analogue world. This development gives the courts considerable powers of interpretation over a central social development. This at the same time causes them to move away from their original function of applying the law and assuming quasi-legislative tasks. In times of the ubiquitous evaluation of mass data and on the threshold to an "Internet of things", the work of the regulatory authorities needs to rely on a clear legal basis backed by constitutional law. The research project 'Ein digitales Ordnungsrecht' (Digital Police Law) examines the area of tension that has been outlined. On the basis of the insights gained it formulates specific suggestions for digital standard measures in line with constitutional law.

The research project is currently examining the legality and practical applicability of the methods of the regulatory authorities discussed in the field of public policy and criminology. The focus is on innovative and novel investigative approaches such as bodycams. So far the associated questions have only been explored in rudimentary form, due to their technical dynamism and practical use which in many cases is only just beginning. On the one hand, a comprehensive legal assessment of innovative investigative measures contributes towards the legal certainty of citizens and of the administration. On the other hand it facilitates political and strategic decision making.


  • Martini, Mario/Nink, David/Wenzel, Michael, Bodycams zwischen Bodyguard und Big Brother, Zu den rechtlichen Grenzen filmischer Erfassung von Sicherheitseinsätzen durch Miniaturkameras und Smartphones, NVwZ 2016, 1772 f. (short version); NVwZ-Extra 23/2016, S. 1-17 (long version).
  • Martini, Mario, in: Paal, Boris P./Pauly, Daniel A. (Hrsg.), Datenschutz-Grundverordnung. Kommentar, 2017,
    • Art. 30 (Verzeichnis der Verarbeitungstätigkeiten).
    • Art. 32 (Sicherheit der Verarbeitung).
    • Art. 33 (Meldung der Verletzung des Schutzes personenbezogener Daten an die Aufsichtsbehörde).
    • Art. 34 (Benachrichtigung der von einer Verletzung des Schutzes personenbezogener Daten betroffenen Person).
  • Seckelmann, Margrit, Body-Cams als New Tools of Governance?, in: Lenk, Klaus/von Lucke, Jörn (Hrsg.), Verwaltung, Informationstechnik & Management. Festschrift für Heinricht Reinermann zum 80. Geburtstag, Baden-Baden 2017, S. 291-303.
  • Seckelmann, Margrit, Alles im Blick? Zur rechtlichen Zulässigkeit des Einsatzes von Body-Cams, in: Jahrbuch Öffentliche Sicherheit 2016/17, S. 399-406.

Note: The text on this home page is copyrighted. It is taken verbatim or based on Martini, "Digitalisierung als Herausforderung und Chance für Staat und Verwaltung" (Digitalisation as Challenge and Chance for State and Administration), FÖV Discussion Paper No. 85, 2016, in particular p. 60.

Senior Fellow

Prof. Dr. Mario Martini



David Nink

David Nink, Ass. iur.




Michael Kolain

Michael Kolain, Ass. iur.