The Stiftung Datenschutz (Foundation for Data Protection) was established by the German Federal Government in 2013. The non-profit incorporated foundation is based in Leipzig, Saxony. It complements existing organizations and initiatives while liaising closely with German data protection authorities on state and federal levels.
The foundation provides a neutral forum for the essential public discourse on privacy and effective and efficient data policy, with the aim of developing future-proof, viable proposals and practical recommendations for improved implementations of data protection theories. Stiftung Datenschutz also supports research and interdisciplinary projects in the field of privacy and its protection, organizes lectures and conferences, and raises public awareness on the importance of privacy and data protection.
In 2016, the foundation started a series of books on the subject. In the first issue, authors from a wide variety of fields examine various aspects regarding the "Future of Informational Self Determination". The upcoming edition will contain contributions on Big Data and eHealth and will be published in May 2017.
The Foundation is managed by its director. Frederick Richter passed the bar after law studies in Hamburg, Hanover and Vienna, specializing in the law of information technology. He has more than 10 years of experience in IT-related politics and policy counseling, both as a former Data Protection Officer of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), and an advisor on policy decisions regarding Internet and IT law to one of the parliamentary groups in the German parliament.
Frederick is a member of the advisory council of the interdisciplinary AbiDa - Assessing Big Data project at the University of Münster, and an independent member of the Data Privacy Advisory Panel at AXA.
The work of the Stiftung Datenschutz is overseen by an administrative board. Its members are independent academics: Prof. Dr. Indra Spiecker, LL.M. (Georgetown Univ.) who holds a Chair in Information Law at Frankfurt Goethe University and Prof. Dr. Georg Borges, Director for Civil Law, Legal Informatics, German and International Business Law and Legal Theory at Saarland University. Further board members are the heads of the relevant units of the Federal Ministry of the Interior and the Federal Ministry of Justice and for Consumer Protection.
The members of the foundation's advisory board represent a wide range of public institutions and media and business associations, as well as the political parties in the German Bundestag (Federal Parliament). All board members work on a honorary basis.