Data protection disaster in the Union of Values: After a poll of members about favorites for the party chairmanship, all answers were online. Despite contradictions and with all e-mail addresses.
When the Union of Values, the self-proclaimed “conservative grassroots movement in the Union”, asks members about the favorite for the party chairmanship, the result is not surprising: 1,231 for Friedrich Merz, 37 for Norbert Röttgen and Armin Laschet with 15 lawyers. One problem with the values association, however, is that it can be read in detail on the Internet, with the detailed answers, names and email addresses of all participants.
The Union of Values is now facing problems with many members and a heavy fine from the state commissioner for data protection: every third survey participant did not consent to their name and favorite being published. One of those affected had reported to Chillreport: “Thanks to the values association, everyone now knows that all participants on the list are members there, who they prefer as CDU chairman and possibly why.” Political opinion data in particular is protected. But even those who wanted to take a public position shouldn’t be happy with the disclosure of their email addresses.
Chairman Mitsch: “Excuse us”
Alexander Mitsch, president of Union of Values, told Chillreport on Sunday: “We deeply regret the incident and apologize to the survey participants.” It was a mistake that the server with the raw data was publicly accessible. The data was not sufficiently secured against access. The controller was not aware that Google had access to the raw data.
The page can also be found using the search engine. It was taken offline on Saturday night. The intention is to inform the authorities and those affected on Sunday, Mitsch said. He told Chillreport that the incident became known to management and the data protection officer on Saturday afternoon. At that time, Chillreport had asked Mitsch and the press officer.
When did Wertunion know about it?
However, the person concerned, who had given the tip to Chillreport, had stated that he had informed the Union of Values three days earlier. Since there was no response, he chose to go public. “I hope to get a fine of at least 25,000 euros,” he wrote.
However, he did not initially respond to a Saturday request until Sunday afternoon when he had informed who and how. Union of Values boss Mitsch denied that the club had been informed before Saturday. The incident was handled immediately upon notification. Proceedings for data protection violations are now being conducted with the State Commissioner for Data Protection in Baden-Württemberg.
The Union of Values has faced withdrawals and criticism in recent months, influential circles sought to cooperate with the AfD and fought fundamental opposition within the Union. Among others, the chairmen of the values association of Thuringia and Baden-Württemberg, Christian Sitter and Holger Kappel, as well as Hinrich Rohbohm, one of the association’s deputy federal presidents, had therefore left the union of values.
The association had always rejected this criticism and referred to a corresponding decision. At the federal assembly in October, a motion by the Rhineland-Palatinate state association was postponed to renew this detached decision left and right.