The unauthorised disclosure of dynamic IP addresses to Google constitutes a violation of the general right of personality!

The “LG München I” (judgement of 20.1.2022, ref. 3 O 17493/20) awards a user non-material damages in the amount of €100 because his dynamic IP address was transferred to Google (specifically: Google Fonts) in the US: https://rewis. io/urteile/urteil/lhm-20-01-2022-3-o-1749320/

Dynamic IP addresses are personal data for website oprators. IP adrdresses can be used to identify a person in collaboration with third parties, authorities and the internet provider (following BGH VI ZR 135/13).

The use of font services such as Google Fonts cannot be based on Art. 6 para. 1 lit.1 f DSGVO. The use of fonts is possible establishing a connection to Google servers from visitors.

It is not mandatory for a visitor to “encrypt” his or her IP address (for example, by using a VPN).

A claim for damages is justified because the IP address is disclosed and the loss of control is significant. Furthermore, Google is known for its data collections activities which leads to a gernal feeling of discomfort for individuals.

The unauthorised disclosure of the plaintiff’s dynamic IP address by the defendant to Google constitutes a violation of the general right of personality in the form of the right to informational self-determination under § 823 (1) BGB. The right to informational self-determination includes the right of individuals to determine the disclosure and use of his or her personal data. The dynamic IP address forwarded by the defendant to Google is personal data within the meaning of section 12 (1) and (2) of the German Telemedia Act (TMG) (in the version applicable at the time of transmission, hereinafter the old version), Section 3 (1) of the German Federal Data Protection Act (BDSG), Article 4 No. 1 of the German Data Protection Regulation (DSGVO).

Our recommendation:

We recommend hosting Google Fonts locally immediately. Doing so ensures no data transferration (this is also pointed out by the ruling of “LG München”).

The ruling sends out an important message in combination with Schrems II. Whether a new wave of lawsuits will follow, is difficult to assess at this point.