Centre for Internet & Society

Maria Xynou recently interviewed Berlin's Data Protection and Freedom of Information Commissioner: Dr. Alexander Dix. View this interview and gain an insight on recommendations for better data protection in India!

Dr. Alexander Dix has been Berlin's Data Protection and Freedom of Information Commissioner since June 2005. He has more than 26 years of practical experience in German data protection authorities and previously served as Commissioner for the state of Bradenburg for seven years.

Dr. Dix is a specialist in telecommunications and media and has dealt with a number of issues regarding the cross-border protection of citizen’s privacy. He chairs the International Working Group on Data Protection in Telecommunications (“Berlin Group”) and is a member of the Article 29 Working Party of European Data Protection Supervisory Authorities. In this Working Party he represents the Data Protection Authorities of the 16 German States (Länder).

A native of Bad Homburg, Hessen, Dr. Alexander Dix graduated from Hamburg University with a degree in law in 1975. He received a Master of Laws degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1976 and a Doctorate in law from Hamburg University in 1984. He has published extensively on issues of data protection and freedom of information. Inter alia he is a co-editor of the German Yearbook on Freedom of Information and Information Law.

The Centre for Internet and Society interviewed Dr. Alexander Dix on the following questions:

  1. What activities and functions does the Berlin data commissioner's office undertake?

  2. What powers does the Berlin data commissioner's office have? In your opinion, are these sufficient? Which powers have been most useful? If there is a lack, what would you feel is needed?

  3. How is the office of the Berlin Data Protection Commissioner funded?

  4. What is the organisational structure at the Office of the Berlin Data Protection Commissioner and the responsibilities of the key executives?

  5. If India creates a Privacy Commissioner, what structure/framework would you suggest for the office?

  6. What challenges has your office faced?

  7. What is the most common type of privacy violation that your office is faced with?

  8. Does your office differ from other EU data protection commissioner offices?

  9. How do you think data should be regulated in India?

  10. Do you support the idea of co-regulation or self-regulation?

  11. How can India protect its citizens' data when it is stored in foreign servers?


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