Deutsche Post sold client microtargeting data to the Christian Democrats and Free Democrats before the 2017 elections.
Is this a scandal along the lines of Cambridge Analytica in the US? That depends on whom you ask.
The national newspaper Bild reported that Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) and the center-right Free Democrats (FDP) purchased "more than a billion" of pieces of personal data about potential voters from a subsidiary of Deutsche Post in the run-up to Germany's national election in September.
The data was reportedly anonymized but contained enough information for the parties to determine, for instance, the general political leanings of residents of a building.
Officials from Deutsche Post, which is still partly publicly owned, have refused to comment, but the two political parties have confirmed that they did acquire the data, which included such information as disposable income, level of education and whether the people concerned owned cars.
"This is an intolerable situation," the Left party's Anke Domscheit-Berg told Bild. "Passing on private data in the absence of express permission must be forbidden without exceptions."
All of Germany's parties, including the Left, purchase data so as to better target their messages to supporters — and even opponents.