Articles

The Dutch Senate agrees to higher privacy sanctions and mandatory data breach notification

The Dutch Senate agrees to higher privacy sanctions and mandatory data breach notification

The Dutch Senate agrees to higher privacy sanctions and mandatory data breach notification

29.05.2015 NL law

Recently the Dutch Senate passed the Bill on data breach notifications and sanctions. This Bill introduces higher sanctions for non-compliance with the Dutch Data Protection Act. In addition, companies will be obliged to immediately notify the Dutch Data Protection Authority ("Dutch DPA") of any data breach. 

Depending on the exact circumstances, persons will also have to be notified in the event their data are compromised. Non-compliance with the privacy legislation can lead to an administrative penalty for each violation up to a maximum of EUR 810,000 or 10% of the company's annual net turnover.

1. Data breach notification and mandatory internal data breach register

We increasingly see reports in the media about privacy sensitive information becoming publicly available due to a hack or security breach. Following this new legislation, companies will be obliged to notify the Dutch DPA of any security breach of the protection of personal data "that has or is likely to have serious adverse consequences for the protection of personal data" (new Article 34a(1) Dutch Data Protection Act). In addition to notifying the Dutch DPA, the individuals whose personal data have been compromised must also be notified if "there is reason to believe that the breach could have adverse consequences for their privacy" (new Article 34a(2) Dutch Data Protection Act). The practical implementation of these provisions will be worked out in specific guidelines from the Dutch DPA. In any case companies will be obliged to maintain an internal data breach register of the aforesaid breaches.

2. Sanctions

The amendment of the Dutch Data Protection Act will enable the Dutch DPA to impose fines for the violation of a large number of general obligations (see the amended Article 66 of the Dutch Data Protection Act). These fines vary from a maximum of EUR 20,250, for relatively minor violations, to a maximum of EUR 810,000, for deliberate or repeated violations. For legal entities the amount of the fine is flexible: if the highest fine category is not sufficiently punitive, the violation can be sanctioned with a fine equivalent to 10% of the company's annual net turnover.

Fines may only be imposed on the company following a binding instruction from the Dutch DPA. By way of such an instruction the DPA can inform the company what steps it should take to avoid paying a fine. However, if the violation concerned was either intentional or a matter of serious culpable negligence, the DPA is not obliged to issue such an instruction and can impose a fine directly.

3. Entry into force expected shortly

The new legislation is expected to enter into force shortly.

Related news

27.03.2019 NL law
Ook WhatsApp- en sms-berichten op privételefoons vallen onder Wet openbaarheid van bestuur

Short Reads - De Afdeling bestuursrechtspraak van de Raad van State heeft in een uitspraak van 20 maart 2019 (ECLI:NL:RVS:2019:899) bevestigd dat ook WhatsApp- en sms-berichten onder de reikwijdte van de Wet openbaarheid van bestuur (Wob) vallen. Dat geldt niet alleen voor WhatsApp- en sms-berichten die staan op werktelefoons, maar ook voor berichten die staan op privételefoons van bestuurders of ambtenaren. Daarmee gaat de Afdeling terecht verder dan de rechtbank (ECLI:NL:RBMNE:2017:5979) in eerste aanleg, die van oordeel was dat de Wob niet van toepassing is op berichten op privételefoons.

Read more

21.03.2019 NL law
15 aspects of Brexit you did not know

Short Reads - A Brexit without a deal, or with a deal that does not cover all relevant aspects, is still a potential scenario. We have highlighted a number of unexpected legal consequences of Brexit in such a no deal or incomplete deal scenario.

Read more

Our website uses functional cookies for the functioning of the website and analytic cookies that enable us to generate aggregated visitor data. We also use other cookies, such as third party tracking cookies - please indicate whether you agree to the use of these other cookies:

Privacy – en cookieverklaring