Laws when publishing private and personal information

Für eine Deutsche Version dieses Dokumentes, rufen Sie bitte auf.

The publication of private and personal information, e.g., screenshots from direct messages, e-mails, or other non-public communication, is in Germany defined by the following laws:

§ 4 Section 1 EU-GDPR Personal data
§ 9 EU-GDPR, § 46 section 14 Federal Data Protection Act (BDSG) and § 48 section 1 Federal Data Protection Act (BDSG) Data with an increased need for protection, in example health data of any kind
§ 46 Section 1, Personal data, Federal Data Protection Act (BDSG) Definitions
§ 46 Section 17, Consent, Federal Data Protection Act (BDSG) Definitions

Public communication is only given if one could follow the communication without logging in or registering an account. I.e., e.g., Discord chat histories are to be classified as not public since these are not anonymously observable and besides a valid invitation link need, which one would get only from members of the Discord channel. Public distribution of the link, e.g., on Twitter, is legally insufficient to give a protected channel a public status.

In addition, if the publication is made with the purpose of causing harm and the truth leads to agitation through additional manipulation of any kind, further laws will come into force. Reference judgment from 01.06.2006 - reference number: 2 Js 17479/04-51 Ls regional court, Marburg. Minimum penalty: 50 daily sentences of 15.00 euros.

In my case, for example:
§ 186 German Criminal Code (StGB) Defamatory
§ 187 German Criminal Code (StGB) Character assassination
§ 164 German Criminal Code (StGB) False Suspicion
§ 201 German Criminal Code (StGB) Violation of the Confidentiality of the Word
§ 238 Section 1 Nr. 3 German Criminal Code (StGB) misuse of personal data
§ 51 Section 1, Federal Data Protection Act (BDSG) Consent
§ 17 EU-GDPR and § 35 Federal Data Protection Act (BDSG), Right of erasure ("right to be forgotten")
§ 14 German fundamental law (GG), information self-determination

In criminal proceedings, the right of personality under Article 2 (1) of the Basic Law (GG) in conjunction with Article 1 (1) of the Basic Law (GG) must also be mentioned. The general right of personality protects the person in particular against falsifying or distorting representations of inconsiderable importance for the development of personality (BVerfG, the decision of 25.10.2005, Ref. 1 BvR 1696/98). Especially for persons with existing deficits such as depression or phobias!

An example:
- Right to the written word
- Right of personal honor (e.g., §§ 185 ff. German Criminal Code (StGB))
- Right at the own name (see § 12 German Civil Code (BGB))
- Protection against distortion and imputation of statements
- Right of disposal over representations of one's own person
- Protection of private, confidential, and intimate sphere
- Right to one's own image (cf. §§ 22, 23 German Art Copyright Act (KUG))

For the removal of content on the Internet that violates personal rights, so-called claims for deletion are derived from the obligation to eliminate the consequences of the claims for injunctive relief analogous to § 1004 p.1 BGB (cf. BGH, the judgment of July 28, 2015, Ref. VI ZR 340/14).

Based on my experiences with certain bullying circles, e.g., #ArtistsOnTwitter, I recommend a direct report without a detour via warnings since attempts to issue notifications or cease-and-desist letters are only made fun of publicly, and the mood against you is further fueled.

Compensation for damages

If the tortfeasor has caused damage intentionally or negligently, he must restore the condition that would exist if the damaging event had not occurred (§§ 249 ff. German Civil Code (BGB)). Restoration of good reputation is pursued by special claims in the case of infringements of personality rights. Other material damages (e.g., loss of employment) resulting from violating the right of personality are dealt with under the general rules on damages.

Prerequisites: First, there must be an unlawful violation of the general right of personality. Here, all possible types of inadmissible actions come into consideration (factual assertions, value judgments, but also an objectionable publication of images), which may in particular also constitute violations of laws protecting personality rights, such as §§ 22, 23 German Art Copyright Act (KUG); provisions of the GDPR or §§ 185 ff. German Criminal Code (StGB). Here, possible grounds for justification such as consent or the perception of legitimate interests (§ 193 German Criminal Code (StGB)) may also need to be examined.


Please note that this is only a small excerpt and further laws can, and in my case will, come into force. Furthermore, I am not a lawyer. For legally reliable information, please contact a lawyer with experience in Internet law.

I will gladly provide a list of appropriate attorneys upon request. To avoid further stress, I recommend a direct complaint without the attempt about a cease and desist letter, because individuals who have no respect for personal and private information are, according to experience, intolerant and would only make fun of it publicly.

My Tip: Don't even try to talk to the bullies, or send them a warning via a cease and desist letter. The only thing surpassed by their arrogance, egoism, and narcissism is their stubbornness, further fueled by the herds of stupid followers. The best example is the #ArtistOnTwitter gang with even more lies and hate speech. Go directly to court!

When they offer a homepage, please take a close look at it. Very often, it shows, as already #ArtistsOnTwitter, that such morons already violate applicable laws. You can either have your lawyer issue a cease and desist letter, or you can contact the Central Competition Office and report the violations directly using their form (German). So I could take one of the artist sites entirely offline. After years of anticompetitive behavior, the other has a correct imprint and a value-added tax ID finally. For those, one can, e.g., file a complaint on a business level, which becomes even more expensive for the sued in the end.

Privacy policy