December 7, 2023


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An online store cannot simply ask for a date of birth

Verdict: The online store should not simply ask for the date of birth

From cart to checkout: Many people then wonder why they have to enter their birthday. Photo: Andrea Warnecke / dpa-tmn

(Photo: dpa)

To check legal capacity, it is enough to ask only the age of majority, and therefore the court. This is possible, for example, if the client simply has to select a check box.

Inquiries about date of birth are not always necessary

In the case, Lower Saxony’s commissioner for data protection sued a mail-order pharmacy. The latter also offered many drugstore-only drugstore and drugstore items in their online store that do not have to be taken by age. However, the company requested that the date of birth be specified for each order.

In addition to the argument of wanting to use the date of birth to verify the legal capacity of the requesting party, the mail-order pharmacy also argued that it should be able to provide age-appropriate advice due to professional regulations applicable to pharmacists.

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Additionally, the court found that the lawsuit only concerned over-the-counter products. The date of birth request should be omitted, at least for products that do not require age-specific advice.


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