Data privacy notice for politicians affected by the compilation of candidate lists for elections to public office at a national or European level and/or the capturing and listing of political office-holders at national or EU level


Data privacy requirements, in particular with regard to the provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Bundesdatenschutzgesetz (BDSG), have only very limited application in the field of journalism. The use of personal data for journalistic purposes is governed by the so-called media privilege. As a key supplier of journalistic content, the Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) and its subsidiary companies play an essential role in the gathering, processing and distribution of news and the dpa Group companies can therefore invoke this media privilege.

In the interests of fair and transparent dealing, we (the dpa-infocom GmbH) want to inform the persons affected about the way in which personal data is used by us in order to produce and distribute overviews of the current political office-holders in EU countries, of those serving in the EU Parliament and of candidates standing for office at a national and EU level.

1. Controller

The data controller responsible for the data processing subject to this notice is dpa-infocom GmbH, Mittelweg 38, 20148 Hamburg, Germany. Telephone: 49 40 4113 31000. E-Mail:

2. Data subjects and data categories

The data processing relates exclusively to politicians who hold a political office at a national or EU level or to those who are standing as a candidate for such an office. The processing concerns the following data: First name, surname, and where applicable a nickname or academic grade; gender, date of birth, party affiliation, current or where applicable previous political office or function, where applicable the URL of a Wikipedia entry or where applicable, a personal website, where applicable the URL of an election canvassing website, where applicable the URLs of personal and also official social media accounts and where applicable the URL of a publically accessible portrait image of the politician concerned. 

3. The purpose of data processing

The processing serves the purpose of assembling overviews of political office-holders and of candidates for elections at a national or EU level with the aim of enhancing the amount of general information available. The distribution of this information is designed to make elections and the election process itself more transparent, thus contributing to political education as a whole.

4. Data sources

The personal data concerned derives entirely from public sources. These include the official websites of political parties or politicians, publically-accessible party programs or other election literature, the social media channels or parties and/or politicians, electoral (national) administrators, the parties and politicians themselves (where applicable using direct quotes),  Wikipedia entries and/or other lexical publications as well as official directories.  

5. The legal basis of the data processing

The processing of personal data for journalistic purposes is not subject to the  requirements stipulated by the GDPR. If one was to assume that the GDPR applies to the processing at hand, we can rely on the legal basis of Art. 6(1)(f) GDPR since the processing is necessary in order to pursue our legitimate interest in ensuring that the public has access to comprehensive information on political affairs as well as our legitimate commercial interest in distributing information products. The processing is furthermore necessary to pursue the public’s legitimate interest in an effective opinion-forming process. Beyond this, the processing serves the higher public interest of ensuring freedom of information with regard to office-holders and democratic elections, elements which are fundamental to the free democratic order.

These legitimate interests are not overridden by the interests of the affected politicians since the processing relates solely to information which is freely publicly available. Indeed the affected politicians have a vested interest in ensuring that democracy is promoted through the dissemination of this information on the widest possible basis.

6. Duration of data storage

We generally store personalized data for as long as this serves its purpose. The necessity of retaining the data as a source of public information extends to 2029.

7. Recipients of the data

In general we distribute the overviews of politicians we have compiled to customers of the dpa Group. We also distribute the data to other companies within the dpa Group. This dissemination enables us to serve our purpose as a distributor of news and information.

In addition, so-called external processors in the meaning of Art. 28 GDPR also have access to the data. These are service providers who are permitted to process the relevant data in strict accordance with our instructions and are obligated to implement appropriate technical and organizational measures to ensure an adequate level of security.

The dissemination to third countries is possible. When necessary these transfers are carried out on in accordance with the requirements stipulated by Art. 44 et seq. GDPR.

8. Rights of the data subjects

For the sake of clarity we wish to inform data subjects about their rights under GDPR and BDSG. At the same time we must point out that these rights do not apply to the processing of data for journalistic purposes.

  • In accordance with Article 15 GDPR and section 34 BDSG data subjects have the right to obtain information as to whether or not personal data concerning him or her are being processed, and, where that is the case, access to the personal data.
  • Data subjects have the right in line with Article 16 GDPR to have inaccurate information rectified.
  • Data subjects have the right in line with Article 17 GDPR and section 35 BDSG to request that the personal data held by us be erased.
  • Data subjects have the right in accordance with Article 18 GDPR to obtain the restriction of the processing of their personal data.
  • Data subjects have the right in accordance with Article 20 GDPR to receive the personal data concerning him or her, which he or she has provided to us, in a structured, common machine-readable format and that the data can be passed on to another responsible person or instance.

9. Right to object

Data subjects have the right in accordance with Article 21 GDPR to object to the processing of their personal data which is based on point (e) or (f) of Article 6(1) GDPR.

10. Data protection officer

Please use the following contact details to get in touch with our data protection officer:
Datenschutzbeauftragter dpa-infocom GmbH
c/o dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH
Postfach 13 02 82
20102 Hamburg

11. Lodging a complaint with a supervisory authority

If a data subject believes the processing of personal data relating to him or her infringes data protection regulations he or she has the right in accordance with Article 77 GDPR to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority.