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

17.05.2022 EU law
Digital Law Up(to)date: Art. 17 of directive 2019/790 is valid!

Articles - The CJEU validates the new liability regime for large online platforms organised by article 17 of the directive 2019/790 on copyright and related rights in the Digital Single Market. The action was brought by the Republic of Poland to annul a part of article 17 as it is contrary to the right to freedom of expression.

Read more

11.05.2022 NL law
De afweging van grondrechten in het kader van corona

Articles - COVID-19 heeft de maatschappij voor dilemma’s geplaatst bij de afweging van volksgezondheid en bescherming van kwetsbaren tegenover vrijheden van het individu. In Tijdschrift voor Arbeidsrecht in Context schetsen Frederiek Fernhout en Judica Krikke de onderliggende rechten en vrijheden die vastgelegd zijn in het Europese grondrechtenkader, de AVG en nationale arbeidswetgeving en bespreken zij hoe deze tegen elkaar moeten worden afgewogen in de context van coronamaatregelen.

Read more

26.04.2022 EU law
Digital Law Up(to)date: Further clarification by the CJEU on the retention of traffic and location electronic communications data for the purpose of combating serious crime

Articles - On 5 April 2022, the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice of the European Union first confirmed that EU law precludes national legislative measures which provide, as a preventative measure, for the general and indiscriminate retention of traffic and location data relating to electronic communications, for the purpose of combating serious crime.

Read more