Data Protection and Law

Data Protection

When using learning platforms such as OLAT in teaching, personal data of the participants (e.g. surname, first name, matriculation number) are stored in the individual online courses. In addition, data is stored that can be clearly linked to a specific person (e.g. forum entries and test results). This data is therefore specially protected by the Rhineland-Palatinate State Data Protection Act (LDSG), to which all employees are obligated when they are hired. According to the law, they may only be used 'earmarked' by the responsible teacher, i.e. only within the framework of the current course. The teachers are liable for any use of the data for any purpose other than that for which it was intended, e.g. passing it on to third parties. Purpose-related' also means that the data of the participants of a course (not the course itself!) must be deleted as soon as the course has been completed (e.g. after the end of the semester), if the online offer was used in addition to a course in the semester. The data can, however, remain stored in an online offer if the teacher wishes to continue to give the students the opportunity, for example, to view materials made available online, to use certain means of communication, to grant access to examination results, etc. after completion of a classroom course.

For teachers, systems in which only the participants themselves have full control over their data are uncritical under data protection law. Such systems can certainly be used in the context of courses. This includes e.g. ePortfolio systems such as "Mahara".


A good and up-to-date summary of the topic can be found in the lecture by Mrs. Iris Speiser, Assess. Jur. und Rechtsinformatikerin, of 25 April 2018 on the fundamentals of data protection law and in particular the new regulations of the Data Protection Basic Regulation (DSGVO).


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