Communicating Privacy in Organisations. Catharsis and Change in the Case of the Deutsche Bahn

Chapter

Abstract

The main challenge in implementing privacy and data protection in organisations is bridging the gap between law and practice. Most data controllers feel little incentive to put effort into this demanding process of translation from rule to action. We present an analysis of the fundamental transformation of the Deutsche Bahn corporation (DB) with regard to privacy and data protection policy and implementation. We argue that the scandal-afflicted organisation has started approaching data protection implementation as a problem of communication and negotiation. In full acknowledgement that insecurities exist and will always emerge as a function of business activities and technological changes, the goal of the DB's data protection officers is not to end up with a static set of rules and responsibilities, but to rebuild trust within the organisation and find ways to deal with insecurities in the future – openly and flexibly and in close dialogue with managers, employees, their representatives and the data protection authorities. The case thus exemplifies the role of communication in bridging the gap between law and practice.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Technology ans Society (CTS)Technical University of BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Department of SociologyUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Centre for Technology ans Society (CTS)Technical University of BerlinBerlinGermany

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