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Gereonshof 2

50670 Köln

T   +49 221 179360

F   +49 221 120014

Privacy Policy

As notaries, we are subject to a strictly monitored duty of confidentiality. The protection of your personal data is important to us.

We process your personal data only to the extent necessary or legally required for the establishment of contact requested by you or the provision of notarial services commissioned by you. Notaries are bound by law to secrecy in accordance with § 18 of the Federal Notary Code. The employees in the notary's office as well as other service providers (e.g. IT companies, cleaning staff etc.) must sign formal declarations of commitment. A violation of the notarial confidentiality obligation may result in criminal liability.


Who is responsible for data protection and who can I contact?


The persons responsible for data protection are (in each case in relation to their notarial activity)

Notary Dr. Benedikt Schmitz

Notary Dr. Stefan Heinze

You can reach the above-mentioned responsible persons as follows:


Gereonshof 2

50670 Cologne, Germany

Phone: 0221 179360

e-mail: info@schmitzheinze.de


data protection officer within the meaning of Section 4 of the General Data Protection Regulation (REGULATION (EU) 2016/679 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCILof 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation), herinhafter also referred to as “DS-GVO”:


Mr. Dipl.-Inform. Olaf Tenti

GDI Society for Data Protection and Information Security mbH

Körnerstraße 45, 58095 Hagen, Germany


Phone: +49 (0)2331/356832-0

E-mail: datenschutz@gdi-mbh.eu


Where do we get our data from?


As a rule, the clients themselves provide us with the data required for the preparation and execution of notarised or publicly certified legal transactions and acts (e.g. name, date of birth and address of seller and buyer). Sometimes we also receive this information from other parties involved in the transaction (e.g. the seller also provides the buyer information) or from third parties (e.g. brokers). Furthermore, we process data which we obtain from publicly accessible registers (e.g. commercial register, Federal Gazette); in order to fulfil our official duties, we also inspect the land register.


What do we process your data for (purpose of processing) and on what legal basis?


In general, we process your data for the performance of a task in the exercise of public authority assigned to the notary (Art. 6 Para. 1 lit. e DSGVO). This is because we as notaries are bearers of a public office according to § 1 BNotO. Sometimes, the processing of data is based on a different legal basis: - The data subject has given his consent to the processing of his personal data for one or more specific purposes (Art. 6 para. 1 lit. a DSGVO);

- Processing is necessary for the performance of a contract to which the data subject is a party or for the implementation of pre-contractual measures taken at the request of the data subject (Art. 6 para. 1 lit. b DSGVO);

- Processing is necessary to fulfil a legal obligation to which the controller is subject (Art. 6 para. 1 lit. c DSGVO);

- The processing is necessary in order to protect the vital interests of the data subject or another natural person (Art. 6 para. 1 lit. d DSGVO);

- Processing is necessary to safeguard the legitimate interests of the controller or of a third party, unless the interests or fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subject, which require the protection of personal data, prevail, in particular where the data subject is a child (Art. 6 para. 1 lit. f DSGVO).


Who receives my data?


Within the notary's office, the employees of our notary's office have access to your personal data, which we need to fulfil our legal and contractual obligations. We have obligated all our employees to observe special professional secrecy. As a rule, employees who violate this particular obligation to secrecy are liable to prosecution.

Service providers and contract processors used by us may also receive personal data to fulfil our legal and contractual obligations. We have concluded appropriate confidentiality agreements with external service providers or contract processors for your protection within the framework of legal obligations. If third parties are involved in the notarial service to be provided by you (in particular other parties to the deed and, if applicable, their representatives, advisors and legal successors), these third parties also receive your personal data (e.g. the seller of a property that you wish to purchase). In some cases it is also necessary to transmit data to authorities and courts (e.g. land registry office and “Landesbetrieb Geoinformation und Vermessung”, the state cadastral authority) in preparation for drafts of documents, e.g. in order to determine land register data which could not be provided to us by those involved in the document.

Please also note that notaries are subject to numerous statutory notification obligations and are therefore obliged to disclose personal data to third parties, in particular authorities. Depending on the notarial service commissioned in each case, such notification obligations may exist, for example, vis-à-vis the tax office (corporation tax office, real estate transfer tax office, gift tax office), the youth welfare office (in particular in the case of a custody declaration) and the registry office (in particular in the case of recognition of paternity).

Furthermore, within the framework of the execution of notarial services, we are regularly instructed by the parties involved in the deed to obtain declarations from third parties (e.g. from banks, condominium administrators, preemption right holders and the courts, e.g. for apostilles or court approvals) and to forward documents to third parties (e.g. land registry office and commercial register or consultant). Personal data may also be passed on to these third parties in this context.

Finally, your personal data must also be disclosed to officially appointed representatives of your notary, notary administrators, the regional court as the supervisory authority for notaries and the chambers of notaries, if necessary within the framework of the legal requirements. These persons or organisations are also subject to strict rules concerning the obligation of confidentiality.


Is data transferred to a third country or to an international organisation?


As a rule, data is not transferred to bodies outside the European Union (so-called third countries). A transfer to a third country can only be considered if one of the parties to the instrument originates from a third country and expressly requests the transfer to the third country. If documents issued by us are to be used in a third country, data may, with your consent, also be transmitted to consular representations from third countries for the purpose of legalisation.


How long will my data be stored?


We process and store your personal data as long as this is necessary for the fulfilment of our legal and contractual obligations. If the data are no longer required for the fulfilment of contractual or legal obligations, they will be deleted regularly, unless their further processing, if necessary for a limited period, is necessary for the following purposes:


Fulfilment of professional retention obligations


According to § 5 Sect 4 of the official regulations for notaries (Dienstordnung für Notare - DONot), the following storage periods apply to the storage of notarial documents:


List of documents, list of inheritance contracts, list of names for the list of documents and collection of documents including the separately kept inheritance contracts (§ 18 para. 4 DONot): 100 years, Depository book, mass book, list of names to the mass book, list of escrow accounts, general files: Thirty years,

Secondary files: 7 years; the notary can specify a longer retention period in writing at the latest during the last processing of the content, e.g. in the case of dispositions due to death or in the case of the risk of recourse; the provision can also be made generally for individual types of legal transaction, e.g. for dispositions due to death.

Preservation of evidence within the framework of the statutory statute of limitations.


What data protection rights do I have?


You have the right:


- To request information about your personal data processed by us in accordance with Art. 15 DSGVO. However, a right to information does not exist pursuant to § 29 BDSG if the information would reveal information which must be kept secret according to a legal provision or by its nature, in particular because of the overriding legitimate interests of a third party. To the extent that our duty of confidentiality pursuant to § 18 BNotO exists, the right to information therefore does not exist. In order to comply with the requirement of confidentiality of the data (Art. 12 Para. 1 S. 3 DS-GVO), you must identify yourself so that the notary can check whether you are entitled to claim.

- In accordance with Art. 16 DSGVO, to immediately request the correction of incorrect or incomplete personal data stored by us. Later inaccuracies (e.g. relocation after conclusion of a sales contract) are excluded from the claim if the data were correct at the time of collection and it is important for the processing that the date was correct at the time of processing and which declarations the parties made at the time of certification.

- Pursuant to Art. 17 DSGVO, to demand the deletion of your personal data stored by us in the cases specified therein, unless processing is necessary to fulfil a legal obligation, for reasons of public interest or to assert, exercise or defend legal claims, or to exercise the right to freedom of expression and information. According to Art. 17 para. 3 lit b DSGVO, there is no right to delete the data if and as long as there is a legal obligation to retain it (see the above-mentioned retention periods).

- To demand the restriction of the processing of your personal data in accordance with Art. 18 DSGVO if the correctness of the data is disputed by you, the processing is unlawful, but you refuse its deletion and we no longer need the data, but you need it to assert, exercise or defend legal claims or you have objected to the processing in accordance with Art. 21 DSGVO;

- Pursuant to Art. 20 DSGVO, in the cases specified therein, to receive your personal data which you have provided to us in a structured, common and machine-readable format or to request transmission to another responsible person. Please note that this applies only if the processing is based on consent (Article 6(1)(a), Article 9(2)(a)) or on a contract as referred to in Article 6(1)(b) and if the processing is carried out by automated means.

- In accordance with Art. 7 Para. 3 DSGVO, to revoke your consent once given to us at any time. The consequence of this is that we may no longer continue the data processing based on this consent in the future. Please note that when notarising declarations of intent in accordance with § 17 Paragraph 1 BeurkG, the notary is obliged to investigate the will of the parties involved and to clarify the facts of the case. Insofar as this official duty is sufficient, data is not collected on the basis of the consent of the parties involved pursuant to Art. 6 para. 1 lit. a DSGVO

- Complain to a supervisory authority pursuant to Art. 77 DSGVO. As a rule, you can contact the supervisory authority of your usual place of residence or workplace or of our office.


Is there an obligation for me to provide data?


Within the framework of our client relationship, you must only provide personal data that is necessary for the establishment, execution and termination of our client relationship or to the collection of which we are legally obliged, in particular from the duty derived (as elaborated by German Courts) pursuant to § 17 BeurkG. Without this data, we will normally have to refuse to provide the notarial services or will no longer be able to provide them and may have to terminate them. For example, we are required to identify you on the basis of your identity card and to collect your name, place of birth, date of birth, nationality and residential address; in many cases, this is required by the German Money Laundering Statute (Geldwäschegesetz – GwG). Furthermore, for the purpose of preparing the notary's cost calculation in accordance with § 95 GNotKG (German Statute on Notarial Fees), you are obliged to participate in the valuation.

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