§ 16 Powers

  1. 1 The Federal Commissioner shall have, within the scope of Regulation (EU) 2016/679, the powers referred to in Article 58 of Regulation (EU) 2016/679. 2 If the Federal Commissioner concludes that data protection legislation has been violated or that there are other problems with the processing of personal data, he or she shall inform the competent authority for legal or technical matters and, before exercising the powers referred to in Article 58 (2) (b) to (g), (i) and (j) of Regulation (EU) 2016/679, shall give this authority the opportunity to provide its opinion to the controller within a reasonable period. 3 The opportunity to provide an opinion may be dispensed with if an immediate decision seems necessary due to imminent danger or in the public interest, or if it would conflict with compelling public interests. 4 The opinion should also include a description of the measures taken on the basis of the information from the Federal Commissioner.
  2. 1 If the Federal Commissioner finds that, in data processing for purposes beyond the scope of Regulation (EU) 2016/679, public bodies of the Federation have violated this Act or other data protection legislation or there are other insufficiencies with their processing or use of personal data, the Federal Commissioner shall lodge a complaint with the competent supreme federal authority and shall require this authority to respond within a period to be determined by the Federal Commissioner. 2 The Federal Commissioner may dispense with a complaint or a response, especially if the problems involved are insignificant or have been remedied in the meantime. 3 The response should also describe the measures taken as a result of the Federal Commissioner’s complaint. 4 The Federal Commissioner may also warn a controller that intended processing operations are likely to violate provisions of this Act and other data protection provisions which apply to the data processing in question.
  3. 1 The powers of the Federal Commissioner shall also extend to
    1. personal data obtained by public bodies of the Federation concerning the contents of and specific circumstances relating to postal communications and telecommunications, and
    2. personal data subject to professional or special official secrecy, especially tax secrecy under Section 30 of the German Fiscal Code.

    2 The fundamental right to privacy of correspondence, posts and telecommunications in Article 10 of the Basic Law shall be limited accordingly.

  4. The public bodies of the Federation shall be obligated to provide the Federal Commissioner and his or her assistants with the following:
    1. access to all official premises at all times, including to any data processing equipment and means, and to all personal data and all information necessary to perform their tasks; and
    2. all information necessary to perform their tasks.
  5. 1 The Federal Commissioner shall work to cooperate with the public bodies responsible for monitoring compliance with data protection provisions in the Länder and with the supervisory authorities under Section 40. 2 Section 40 (3), first sentence, second halfsentence, shall apply accordingly.

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