54 - Chatty confetti shower

Unsichtbares Akkordeon

At the carnival parade even the confetti was talkative.


At a carnival parade in 2016 in a small town in Thuringia, not only small colorful round snippets fell out of the confetti cannon, but also snippets that were inscribed with sensitive personal information and thus spoke for themselves.

A hospital had used the carnival to improperly dispose of its old patient files, and the shredded files were scattered on the street. Unfortunately, the pieces of confetti were still big enohgh that names, addresses and telephone numbers were partially readable. The incident caused an outcry and drew the attention of the Thuringian data protection commissioner who issued an administrative order and a fine.

This scary tale illustrates the importance of deleting data properly. Personal data must be permanently erased when the purpose for which it was processed has ceased to exist and there are no retention periods. In this context, deletion is understood as the complete rendering of this data unrecognizable.