A Poster to Remember by wvd10114



A Poster to Remember
Taking a hammer to a compu-                                                                                     headquarters. Part of his job is
ter hard disk is not the most                                                                                   to make MPS employees aware
sophisticated way to access                                                                                     of the issue of data protection.
the data it holds. The reality is                                                                               He works to ensure compliance
that data theft is a far more                                                                                   with the law and is always
subtle affair. The data protec-                                                                                 available as a point of contact.
tion officers at Germany’s re-                                                                                  Together with colleagues at the
search institutes are commit-                                                                                   Helmholtz Association, the
ted to stopping the thieves in                                                                                  Leibniz Association, the Fraun-
their tracks. To mark this year’s                                                                               hofer Gesellschaft and the Ger-
European Data Protection Day,                                                                                   man Research Foundation,
they began a joint awareness                                                                                    Rainer Gerling is also a mem-
campaign with slogans such as                                                                                   ber of a working party that has
“Research not espionage” and                                                                                    initiated a poster campaign
“Science needs privacy.”                                                                                        specifically for the research
     Data Protection Day was                                                                                    community.
first initiated in 2006 by the                                                                                      To give the staff at Max
Council of Europe, and takes                                                                                    Planck Institutes an added in-
place each year on January 28                                                                                   terest in the importance of
to mark the signing on this                                                                                     data security, the team head-
day in 1981 of the European                                                                                     ed by Rainer Gerling came up
Data Protection Convention.                                                                                     with a competition: Employ-
The focus of this year’s nation-                                                                                ees who hang up a poster at
al campaign in Germany was                                                                                      an eye-catching location in
on medical data. The provoca-                                                                                   their institute buildings and
tive title “Risks and side-ef-                                                                                  send in a photo to prove it are
fects for the patient’s right to                                                                                rewarded with a prize. The
privacy” was designed to draw                                                                                   MPI for Ethnological Research
attention to the imperative                                                                                     in Halle took up the challenge,
need to treat personal data                                                                                     and won a copy of the book
with all due care if science is                                                                                 “Die Google-Falle” (The Google
to improve its perception in                                                                                    trap) by Gerald Reischl. Anoth-
the public eye. This is the only    Fighting data piracy: German research institutions marked European Data
                                                                                                                er winner was the MPI for the
way to persuade people to vol-      Protection Day with a joint campaign entitled “Science needs privacy.”      Study of Religious and Ethnic
untarily participate in scien-                                                                                  Diversity in Göttingen, where,
tific studies.                                                                                                  despite the inclement winter
     The Max Planck Society, too, in its ca-    other than employment-related grounds,               weather, the poster took pride of place
pacity as an employer, is under obligation      explained Rainer Gerling, who is the cen-            outside the institute entrance where no
not to process data on its employees on any     tral Data Protection Officer at Max Planck           one could miss it.

     Admission to Doctoral Program with a Bachelor’s Degree

     The Max Planck Society is not permitted to use its public           bridged by the Max Planck Foundation (MPF) providing
     funds for the support of international students who apply           private grants in the annual amount of 700,000 euros for
     for admission to an International Max Planck Research               70 doctoral students. Such funds can be used either for
     School (IMPRS) on the basis of a bachelor’s and not a master’s      participation in a combined master’s/PhD course or in an
     degree. Since the end of 2009, this gap in funding has been         orientation phase at an IMPRS.
                                                                                                                                                   Photo: OH

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