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

20.09.2022 EU law
Launch of Metaverse blog series

Articles - Stibbe launches a new blog series focusing on the legal challenges of the Metaverse. In our upcoming blog posts, we will discuss the legal challenges of NFTs, crypto-assets, Metaverse platforms, crypto exchanges, DAO, and many more.

Read more

28.07.2022 NL law
Zuiver commercieel belang ook gerechtvaardigd belang: Raad van State laat zich er niet over uit

Short Reads - Op 27 juli 2022 heeft de Raad van State bevestigd dat de Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens onterecht een boete van € 575.000 aan VoetbalTV heeft opgelegd. De hoop bestond dat de Afdeling antwoord zou geven op de vraag of de AP terecht of onterecht meent dat een zuiver commercieel belang géén gerechtvaardigd belang kan zijn in de zin van de Algemene Verordening Gegevensbescherming. Het antwoord op deze vraag blijft echter uit.  

Read more

28.07.2022 NL law
Purely commercial interest also a legitimate interest? Council of State leaves the question unanswered.

Short Reads - On 27 July 2022, the Council of State confirmed that the Dutch Data Protection Authority wrongly imposed a €575,000 fine on VoetbalTV. But the Council did not answer the question whether the AP rightly or wrongly believes that a purely commercial interest cannot be a legitimate interest within the meaning of the General Data Protection Regulation.

Read more