Germany: TMT

This country-specific Q&A provides an overview of TMT laws and regulations applicable in Germany.

  1. What is the regulatory regime for technology?

  2. Are communications networks or services regulated?

  3. If so, what activities are covered and what licences or authorisations are required?

  4. Is there any specific regulator for the provisions of communications-related services?

  5. Are they independent of the government control?

  6. Are platform providers (social media, content sharing, information search engines) regulated?

  7. If so, does the reach of the regulator extend outside your jurisdiction?

  8. Does a telecoms operator need to be domiciled in the country?

  9. Are there any restrictions on foreign ownership of telecoms operators?

  10. Are there any regulations covering interconnection between operators?

  11. If so are these different for operators with market power?

  12. What are the principal consumer protection regulations that apply specifically to telecoms services?

  13. What legal protections are offered in relation to the creators of computer software?

  14. Do you recognise specific intellectual property rights in respect of data/databases?

  15. What key protections exist for personal data?

  16. Are there restrictions on the transfer of personal data overseas?

  17. What is the maximum fine that can be applied for breach of data protection laws?

  18. What additional protections have been implemented, over and above the GDPR requirements?

  19. Are there any regulatory guidelines or legal restrictions applicable to cloud-based services?

  20. Are there specific requirements for the validity of an electronic signature?

  21. In the event of an outsourcing of IT services, would any employees, assets or third party contracts transfer automatically to the outsourcing supplier?

  22. If a software program which purports to be a form of A.I. malfunctions, who is liable?

  23. What key laws exist in terms of: (a) obligations as to the maintenance of cybersecurity; (b) and the criminality of hacking/DDOS attacks?

  24. What technology development will create the most legal change in your jurisdiction?

  25. Which current legal provision/regime creates the greatest impediment to economic development/ commerce?

  26. Do you believe your legal system specifically encourages or hinders digital services?

  27. To what extent is your legal system ready to deal with the legal issues associated with artificial intelligence?