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The Digital-Supply-Act (Digitale-Versorgung-Gesetz, “DVG”), which aims to further promote digitization in the German health care system, entered into force on 19 December 2019 and regulates, inter alia, the prescription of Digital Health Apps by HCPs (including the cost bearing by statutory health insurance). Patients insured with statutory health funds are eligible for reimbursement of Digital Health Apps. As of this August, prescription for Digital Health Apps will be available, according to statements made by the…

On June 16, 2020 the largest parliamentary group in the German parliament (“CDU/CSU” holding about 35% of the seats) agreed on a white paper (German), which sets the goal of strengthening voluntary work in Germany. The paper outlines measures intended to be implemented in German law in 2021 – approximately nine years after the last modification in this area of law. Among other things, the paper addresses the question of whether esports can be considered…

The German head regulator for youth protection in online matters (Commission for the Protection of Minors in the Media – KJM) issued a press release (German) according to which it has engaged in enforcement action against three Cypriot providers of adult content (pornography). The action by the KJM is the outcome of a long debate and process and might indicate a shift in the regulatory practice vis-à-vis foreign and EU providers, which also has general…

As it is currently being reported in many German news outlets, the Federal Review Board for Media Harmful to Minors (Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Medien, “BPjM”) has (upon application) opened proceedings to blacklist the mobile game Coin Master for its in-game monetization model which is allegedly targeted towards minors and would involve gambling-like elements. The game came under scrutiny in the wake of several adverse news articles in well-known German magazines and newspapers for its in-game…

The German State Bavaria has published a draft for a new guideline (Draft JuSchRiL) on the interpretation of the Interstate Treaty for the Protection of Minors (JMStV). The JMStV regulates, inter alia, youth protection matters for online media in Germany (including online video games, mobile games and apps). The new guideline – which clearly serves as a reaction to the ongoing loot box and monetization debate – states, among other things, that “advertisement which is…

The German Data Protection Authority in the state of Baden-Württemberg (DPA) imposed the first fine under the GDPR in Germany. The fine of EUR 20,000 was imposed on a chat platform provider for storing its users’ passwords without encrypting them. The unencrypted storing of passwords was revealed by the provider itself in conjunction with submitting a breach notification to the DPA following a hacker attack.It began with a security breachThe chat platform provider “knuddels.de” was…

The “Market Guardian Experts” organization (Marktwächter) of the Consumer Protection Association Rhineland-Palatinate (“CPA RP”) announced that it has sent a cease-and-desist letter to two mobile game providers, Outfit7 Limited and Green Tea Games Limited, for an alleged violation of child-related advertisement laws. According to the CPA RP, the two mobile games offer in-app purchases for a price of up to 109.99 Euros and promote them with obtrusive pop-up advertising throughout the game. 1. Summary and provided arguments Outfit7 Limited received a warning letter…

The German consumer association North Rhine-Westphalia (Verbraucherzentrale NRW) announced that it considers numerous terms of service of a leading console marketplace to be in breach with the German law on standard business terms. For this reason, the Verbraucherzentrale NRW sent a cease and desist letter to Sony Europe to stop using the allegedly violating clauses. As an example, the Verbraucherzentrale NRW names clauses which require the user to use his/her pre-paid credit within 24 months to avoid expiration. The Verbraucherzentrale…

In light of the GDPR, the German data protection authorities (German DPAs) have issued new guidance regarding the implementation of whistleblowing hotlines. The new position of the German DPAs is so fundamentally different from their pre-GDPR position that German companies should review, and likely implement changes to, any existing whistleblowing hotlines offered to their employees.The general EU position before the GDPR came into effect was that whistleblowers were encouraged to disclose their identity rather than…

One minute ago, at 11 am CET on August 8, 2018, the German classification board (“USK”) announced that it will from now on accept applications for the classification of video games which include swastikas and other so called “nazi symbols”. The decision will most likely be the beginning of the end of an era in which video games which include “unconstitutional” symbols had to be heavily altered for their German release. The decision has significant…