If beacons are used in Germany, in principle, subject to German data protection law. Because the data processing then determined either by the Telemedia Act for each app, or under the federal Privacy Act. This applies even if the app provider from abroad, from the USA operates.
Users should be informed about the use of beacons. That is, the user has to be clear what information is collected by the beacon technology, whoever receives the information and what the respective receivers with the information. This user information must be given in any case in the respective app. In addition, signs may be placed in the shops, will provide information on and the beacon use (but this is not essential).
Once the App provider or hear about this assigned service the user’s location, consent is required. From the German data protection authorities spatial data can be collected and processed in most cases only with prior express consent of the user. Consent must of course be voluntary and shall at all times be revoked “from the use situation out.” In addition, the consent is to be renewed after some time. At the very least should therefore apps that deal with location data can offer an opt-out option within the app or should – if the operating system-side opt-out option are used – a detailed and understandable (depending on the target group may also screens) described are, how and where the user can select the appropriate settings. If it goes to the supervisory authorities, the consent should also be replaced regularly.
Any questions about customer profiling, which traders interested, taken as about which way the shopper at the store or vouchers which he has redeemed is legally permissible only if the person has previously given a consent. Other possibilities exist only in a “clean” anonymisation or pseudonyms of the data already in the survey.
Content of push messages
The news triggered by beacons may not harass unreasonable customers. Advertising should be sent via push messages is similar to gather in the e-mail advertisement consent. Where the provisions of this law, are not observed, it is fast to illegal SPAM.
It is also forbidden any other improper influence on the purchase decision. Especially if the customer is in the immediate vicinity of the respective products and is more inclined to sign a contract, it may not be “showered” with messages. Also Targeting consumers in the business of a competitor represents a specific disability is and can be anticompetitive.
Selection of contractors
Not only is the app provider, and the shop that the Beacons used, in legal terms are in responsibility for the lawful use beacon. Both bodies should therefore vote in advance of their behavior, and choose their contractors properly to avoid problems later.
Before using dealer beacons, it is very important to analyze the data flows and to ascertain what data be replaced by what contractors who bears the responsibility for the individual processing steps and should be used for the purposes for which customer data. Only in this way can the legal requirements implemented individually and beacon use are designed with the law. Many questions is always the individual case to consider
About the Author . Kathrin Schürmann since 2007, worked as a lawyer at Schürmann Woschendorf Dreyer. In addition to the copyright and media law, data protection and competition law is specializing in the whole marketing area, especially on the threshold between competition and data protection law.