The author of this thesis tries to answer the question whether the concept of proportionality is capable of safeguarding the right to privacy from erosion. In order to pursue this aim the following aspects deserve consideration:
1. The concept of proportionality on a theoretical level: Balancing2. The application of the concept: The Proportionality of Data Retention3. The underlying conflict: Privacy versus Security
Accordingly this thesis is divided into three parts. Part I overviews the origin, development and actual role of proportionality as applied by the German Federal Constitutional Court (FCC) and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). Herein the author focuses on the limits applicable to the respective proportionality test. Selected case law regarding surveillance and data collection furthermore exemplifies the impact these limitations have on the juridical review in the field of privacy protection.Part II puts the concept of proportionality as applied by the FCC and the ECHR to test. An attempt is made to constitute the proportionality of Data Retention. Here again the author emphasises on the limits applicable to the proportionality test and their influence on the level of privacy protection. Additionally the author points at the underlying conflict between privacy and security, which is inherent to most cases regarding surveillance and data collection. Finally Part III of this thesis scrutinises the conflict between privacy and security by analysing two divergent approaches towards the issue. The crucial point is whether one should favour privacy over the public interest in security? The answer it is argued leads back to the perception of privacy on the one hand and the appraisal of technological advances on the other.