Privacy respecting video conferencing

Dear Senfcall users,

the year 2021 has come to an end. A lot has changed at Senfcall in the last year. In this article, we would like to give you a review of our successes and garnish this with some numbers.

Our last transparency report was actually written just before some big events. In December last year, we had the highest number of 1117 people using Senfcall at the same time. Presumably the school closures ensured that on the Monday after the Christmas holidays we set a new record of over 6000 concurrent users. To cope with this, we had to greatly increase our capacity at short notice. The rush was so great that we also had to temporarily deactivate the creation of spontaneous meetings, but only for a few minutes. With the easing of the Corona situation over the summer, the use of Senfcall also decreased again, so that we have disposed of parts of the new servers again. Thanks to the new BigBlueButton version 2.4, which was released at the end of 2021 and works much more efficiently than the previous versions, we were able to cope with the renewed increase in use in winter 21/22 without additional servers this time. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the BigBlueButton team and all the people who participated in our load tests at the end of 2021.

In total, over €15,500 was donated to us last year. Thank you very much! Even though there are irregular larger expenses (for example a training for our data protection officer or the consultation of a lawyer, more about that below), we will be able to run Senfcall with this money for more than a year if our monthly costs remain the same. Our expenses in 2021 amount to a total of about 11,400€. Most of the expenses were for the rental costs of the servers. Smaller costs were for the provision of telephone dial-in and legal advice.

The reason for the legal advice was a request from the LKA Berlin. Due to a criminal complaint, the LKA Berlin wanted the log data of a user who had participated in a meeting a few days earlier to be handed over. At the time, logging was deactivated on the video conference server used, but not on the administration frontend, where the log data had been available for 7 days and was still available. However, the request, as well as some subsequent requests, were legally inadmissible. Only after a request from the public prosecutor's office in Berlin did we have to (and were allowed to) hand over the log data (IP address and time of joining the meeting). The retention period for our logs is now only 3 days. A complete abandonment of log files would not be practicable with such complex software as BigBlueButton.

Due to the great willingness to donate last year, we will not need any more donations for the foreseeable future and therefore hope that your donations will benefit other projects that urgently need them now. We will soon publish a list of projects - which in our opinion - can both put donations to good use and make good use of them.

In addition to the public service available through the website, we also offer on request accounts to create permanent spaces. Almost 10,000 people have registered for this so far.

In the meantime, we offer non-profit organisations the integration of Senfcall videoconferencing into their own systems, including data processing agreements. For more information, please visit our help page.

That was a little insight into the mustard behind the scenes.

We wish you all a spicy new year!
The Senfcall Team