Regulating Intermediaries to Protect Privacy Online – the Case of the German NetzDG
With the shift of communication to the internet, conflicts between freedom of communication and personal rights are also shifting to the Net. With the enactment of a so-called “Network Enforcement Act” (Netzwerkduchsetzungsgesetz - NetzDG), Germany has taken a path to address this problem by regulating platforms, which has received much international attention. This article presents the regulatory concept of the NetzDG and examines the consequences, especially for freedom of communication. Alternatives will be discussed on the basis of a recent recommendation of the Council of Europe on roles and responsibilities of online intermediaries.This is a preprint of an essay that was written for the volume by Marion Albers and Ingo Sarlet (editors), Personality and Data Protection Rights on the Internet.