Data Protection Authority for the German state of Hamburg, The Hamburg DPA (Hamburgische Beauftragte für Datenschutz und Informationsfreiheit), has been formally warned against using Zoom over data protection concerns, reported Techcrunch.

The Hamburg DPA has warned to use the video conference solution from Zoom Inc. in the so-called on-demand variant. This violates the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), as such use is associated with the transmission of personal data to the USA, said the public warning.

Zoom allegedly violated the European Data Protection Board's guidelines for transferring personal data to a third country.

In the public press release, the Germam Senate Chancellery further said - "The European Data Protection Committee has formulated requirements in order to be able to transfer personal data to a third country such as the USA in accordance with the GDPR. The HmbBfDI is based on this standard in business and public administration. The documents submitted by the Senate Chancellery on the use of Zoom show that these standards are not being adhered to. Other legal bases such as the consent of all parties concerned are also not relevant here."

Ulrich Kühn, the acting Hamburg commissioner for data protection and freedom of information said, "Public bodies are particularly bound to comply with the law. It is therefore more than regrettable that such a formal step had to be taken. At the FHH (Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg), all employees have access to a tried and tested video conference tool that is unproblematic with regard to third-country transmission. As the central service provider, Dataport also provides additional video conference systems in its own data centers. These are used successfully in other countries such as Schleswig-Holstein. It is therefore incomprehensible why the Senate Chancellery insists on an additional and legally highly problematic system."

Earlier in July, the Federal Data Protection Commissioner (Golem) of Germany has ordered govt authorities and agencies to leave social networking platform Facebook by the end of the year, due to the similar data privacy concerns.

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