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German Research Institute for Public Administration

Assemblies take place in an environment that is sensitive to fundamental rights. On the one hand, the events and their participants enjoy special protection under Article 5 (1) and Article 8 (1) of the German constitution (Grundgesetz). On the other hand, they are associated with an increased conflict potential due to counter-events or contact with the public as well as the often diverging opinions within the groups of participants. Only strategically intelligent and legally sound planning and implementation ensure the safety of both the participants and third parties (e.g. residents). The aim of the partners in the overall project is to develop a decision support system (DSS) both for the preparation phase and for crisis management of events with high conflict potential. In addition to suggestions for a safe demonstration route, the system can also calculate the most effective positioning of police camera units. However, no data collected by cameras is fed into the system, so the system itself does not process personal data.

Nevertheless, the possibility of camera use for the police raises the question which legal limitations can be derived from german and EU law. Yet, new camera systems such as drones, bodycams and smartcams have long been part of the standard repertoire of security forces in other countries for averting danger and prosecuting criminals. Since the 1980s, however, German security law has become highly sensitive to the threat to fundamental rights posed by government surveillance. Together with the provisions of modern data protection law determined by EU law, the German constitution forms the critical limit of government surveillance technology.

The work of the third-party-funded project at the FÖV Speyer fits into the overall project as a jurisprudential contribution. Preparing and continuously accompanying the technical development, the subproject analyses the fundamental conflict between freedom and security. At the end of the project period, a system ready for practical use will be available. To a large extent, the practical applicability will however depend on the legal admissibility. Against this background, the subproject is not only an accompanying side aspect of the overall project, but an essential core component.

Funding

Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Duration

1.09.2017 – 31.08.2020

Senior Fellow

Prof. Dr. Mario Martini

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Researcher

Jonas Ganter (Dipl.-Jur.)

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