Publications & Events
Article

GDPR Guide to National Implementation

A practical guide to national GDPR compliance requirements across the EEA

Foreword and issue-by-issue comparison

Other chapters

Austria

Belgium

Bulgaria

Croatia

Cyprus

Czech Republic

Denmark

Estonia

Finland

France

Germany

Greece

Hungary

Iceland

Ireland

Italy

Latvia

Liechtenstein

Lithuania

Luxembourg

Malta

Netherlands

Norway

Poland

Portugal

Romania

Slovakia

Slovenia

Spain

Sweden

United Kingdom

Glossary

[back to top of page]

 

Get your copy

Request a hard copy of the GDPR Guide to National Implementation »

 

In this chapter:

Q1/ Applicable legislation

Q2/ Personal data of deceased persons

Q3/ Legal bases for processing

Q4/ Consent of children

Q5/ Processing of sensitive personal data

Q6/ Data relating to criminal offences or convictions

Q7/ Exemptions

Q8/ Restrictions on data subjects’ rights

Q9/ Joint controllership

Q10/ Processor

Q11/ Data protection Impact Assessments

Q12/ Prior authorisation and public interest

Q13/ DPOs

Q14/ International data transfers

Q15/ DPAs

Q16/ Claims by not-for-profit bodies

Q17/ Administrative fines, penalties and sanctions

Q18/ Freedom of expression and information

Q19/ National identification numbers

Q20/ Processing in the context of employment

Q21/ Other material derogations

Q22/ Current legal challenges

Q23/ Enforcement

Q24/ Regulatory Guidance

———

[back to top of page]

 

 

Foreword

Dr. Detlev Gabel (White & Case, Partner, Frankfurt, Head of the Firm’s EMEA Data, Privacy & Cybersecurity Practice) and Tim Hickman (White & Case, Partner, London)

European data protection laws have made significant strides in the last two decades.

Privacy and data protection laws have undergone dramatic changes over the last 20 years, in a race to keep up with technology. When Directive 95/46/EC (the “Directive”) was written in the mid-1990s, the highly networked and interconnected world in which we live today was merely a glimmer on the horizon. The internet itself was a comparatively recent innovation to many people. Many organisations did not yet have public websites. Concepts such as online social media platforms did not exist—and certainly nobody had considered how those platforms should be regulated. Consequently, courts and Data Protection Authorities (DPAs) have increasingly been forced to try to adapt privacy laws to fit a world for which they simply were not designed.

The GDPR significantly increases harmonisation of European privacy laws.

The Directive (like all EU Directives) set out requirements and principles that needed to be transposed into the laws of each Member State. Although Member States all started with the Directive as a common source, they each implemented the Directive according to their own legal traditions and, to an extent, their own national cultural attitudes towards privacy and data protection. As a result, there was a material degree of divergence on data protection issues, from one Member State to the next.

When Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (General Data Protection Regulation [GDPR]) replaced the Directive on 25 May 2018, one of its stated aims was to increase harmonisation, and ensure a consistent and high level of protection of personal data throughout the EU. Because the GDPR is a Regulation (rather than a Directive), much of this harmonisation is automatic—a Regulation is “directly applicable”, which means that it automatically applies in each Member State without the need for national implementing legislation. This removes a major source of inconsistency from one Member State to the next.

The GDPR does not create total uniformity.

Despite the fact that it is a Regulation, the GDPR does not create completely identical privacy and data protection rules across all Member States. Instead, it permits or requires Member States to implement specifications or restrictions on certain rules set out in the GDPR. To some extent, this is due to the fact that a Regulation can only govern issues over which the EU has been granted legislative competence under the relevant Treaties. Because certain issues fall outside the EU’s legislative competence (e.g., national security, regulation of the press, the administration of justice and so on), a Regulation cannot impose uniform rules in those areas. In other areas, the GDPR provides a margin of manoeuvre for Member States to specify their own rules for reasons of coherence and for making the national provisions comprehensible to the persons to whom they apply. As a result, the GDPR contains a large number of provisions that either permit or require Member States to make their own rules in these areas. This means that although European data protection laws are more harmonised under the GDPR than they were under the Directive, substantial national variations remain.

Navigating national inconsistencies.

The purpose of this Guide is to enable organisations to quickly and easily identify the major issues that are subject to national implementation, and compare those issues across the Member States in which they operate. To that end, this Guide is divided into two Parts: 

  • Part 1 adopts an issue-by-issue approach, identifying points of commonality where they exist, and pointing out materially divergent approaches adopted by Member States on each issue; and
  • Part 2 provides a single Chapter for each Member State, and provides a more in-depth look at the ways in which each Member State has chosen to implement the portions of the GDPR that are subject to national implementation.

Our Global Data, Privacy & Cybersecurity Practice is ideally positioned to guide organisations through the process of understanding, and complying with, the GDPR in general, and national implementation laws in particular. The breadth and depth of our experience in advising organisations on their data protection compliance obligations enable us to provide practical advice on real‑world solutions to the complex problems that arise in this context, throughout the European Economic Area (EEA) and beyond.

———

[back to top of page]

 

 

Issue-by-issue comparison

Q1/ Applicable legislation

(a) Have the requirements of the GDPR been addressed by introducing a new law, or by updating existing legislation?

Most EEA Member States have implemented new laws. However:

  • Austria, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Lithuania have all updated their existing legislation; and
  • Denmark, Estonia, Poland, Romania and Sweden have each issued new legislation for the majority of their GDPR implementation measures, but some other relevant pre-GDPR legislation survives.

———

(b) What is the status of national pre-GDPR data protection law?

Most EEA Member States have repealed their pre-GDPR national laws, but a few have retained updated versions of those laws.

———

[back to top of page]

 

 

Q2/ Personal data of deceased persons

Does national law make specific rules regarding the processing of personal data of deceased persons?

The GDPR applies to the processing of personal data of living individuals, but permits individual EEA Member States to make their own rules. Practice varies across the EEA:

  • Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Greece, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland and Romania have not implemented additional rules. In these jurisdictions, the default position remains that the GDPR does not apply to the personal data of deceased persons;
  • Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK each impose limited obligations on controllers (either through law or regulatory guidance) with respect to the processing of personal data of deceased persons. In some cases, the obligations only apply for a limited period after the date of death; and
  • in addition, Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain have each granted specific rights to heirs or family members of deceased persons, with respect to the processing of the deceased person’s personal data (e.g., a deceased person’s heirs may have the right to enforce the rights of access, rectification or erasure, on behalf of that deceased person).

———

[back to top of page]

 

 

Q3/ Legal bases for processing

(a) Does national law make specific rules regarding the processing of personal data in compliance with a legal obligation?

Most EEA Member States impose no specific rules in this regard. However:

  • Austria, Estonia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden impose specific rules regarding certain types of data (e.g., criminal data) or in relation to processing by businesses in certain sectors (e.g., healthcare);
  • the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy and Portugal impose additional general conditions on controllers that wish to process personal data on the basis of a legal obligation; and
  • Finland exempts controllers from the application of certain rights of data subjects when processing personal data on the basis of a legal obligation.

———

(b) Does national law make specific rules regarding the processing of personal data for the performance of tasks carried out in the public interest?

EEA Member States have adopted different positions on this issue. For example:

  • Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania and Luxembourg have not imposed any specific rules on this issue; and
  • Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK have imposed specific rules that must be satisfied in order to process personal data on a public interest basis. The nature of these rules varies substantially from one EEA Member State to the next.

———

(c) Does national law make specific rules regarding the processing of personal data in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller?

EEA Member States have adopted different positions on this issue. For example:

  • Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Hungary, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland and Romania have not imposed any specific rules on this issue;
  • Spain and Sweden limit the scope of processing in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller to the exercise of authority granted by their respective national laws, but otherwise imposed no specific rules; and
  • Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia and Slovenia have imposed specific rules that must be satisfied in order to process personal data in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller. The nature of these rules varies substantially from one EEA Member State to the next.

———

(d) Does national law contain criteria in addition to those listed in the GDPR, to determine whether processing for a new purpose is compatible with the purpose for which the personal data were initially collected?

EEA Member States have adopted different positions on this issue. For example:

  • Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and the UK have not imposed any additional criteria; and
  • Austria, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Ireland and Spain have imposed additional criteria that must be satisfied in order to process personal data for new purposes. The nature of these criteria varies from one EEA Member State to the next.

———

[back to top of page]

 

 

Q4/ Consent of children

At what age can a child give their consent to processing in relation to ISS?

  • 13 years of age in Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Norway, Portugal, Sweden and the UK;
  • 14 years of age in Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Italy, Lithuania and Spain;
  • 15 years of age in the Czech Republic, France, Greece and Slovenia;
  • 16 years of age in Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania and Slovakia;
  • in Ireland, consent can generally be given at 16 years of age, but this may vary up to 18 years of age in some circumstances; and
  • in Malta, consent can generally be given at 13 years of age, but can only be given at 16 years of age for students.

———

[back to top of page]

 

 

Q5/ Processing of sensitive personal data

(a) Are there any sensitive personal data which cannot be processed on the basis of a data subject’s consent?

In the majority of EEA Member States, all personal data can be processed if the data subject’s consent has been obtained. However:

  • Croatia and Cyprus impose additional restrictions on the processing of genetic data for life insurance purposes;
  • Greece prohibits processing of genetic data for health and life insurance purposes;
  • Denmark imposes additional restrictions on the re-use of sensitive personal data that were originally collected for scientific or statistical studies;
  • Finland and Slovakia impose additional restrictions on the processing of sensitive personal data in an employment context;
  • Italy and Portugal impose additional restrictions on the processing of genetic data in an employment context;
  • Luxembourg imposes additional restrictions on the processing of genetic data in general;
  • Malta imposes additional restrictions on the processing of personal data relating to criminal offences or convictions; and
  • Spain imposes broad general additional restrictions on the processing of various categories of sensitive personal data, for the purposes of preventing discrimination.

———

b) Does national law contain any specific requirements regarding the processing of sensitive personal data in respect of the following:

(i) Employment, social security and/or social protection law

In the majority of EEA Member States, there are no specific requirements regarding the processing of sensitive personal data in the context of employment, social security and/or social protection law. However:

  • Bulgaria imposes additional restrictions on the processing of biometric data in an employment context;
  • the Czech Republic permits the processing of sensitive personal data by social security national authorities, where required by law, even if the data subject objects;
  • Denmark permits the processing of sensitive personal data in these categories where required by law;
  • Finland disapplies the provisions of Art. 9(1) GDPR from: (i) processing of trade union membership information where required by law; and (ii) processing of personal data for the purposes of providing social services or granting benefits;
  • France restricts the collection of employees’ personal data without prior notification;
  • Germany limits the processing of employees’ sensitive personal data to processing required by law, or in accordance with a collective agreement;
  • Greece permits the processing of sensitive personal data when it is necessary for the exercise of rights of social security and social welfare and compliance with employment law; and
  • Italy and Liechtenstein impose significant restrictions on the processing of sensitive personal data in an employment context.

(ii) Substantial public interest

In the majority of EEA Member States, there are no specific requirements regarding the processing of sensitive personal data on the basis of substantial public interest. However:

  • Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Italy, Poland and Spain each specify types of processing that are considered to be in the public interest; and
  • Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden and the UK each impose additional conditions when controllers seek to rely on substantial public interest in order to process sensitive personal data. The nature of these conditions varies substantially from one EEA Member State to the next.

(iii) Preventative or occupational medicine; employee working capacity, medical diagnosis, provision of health or social care, or management of health or social care systems or services

In many EEA Member States, there are no specific requirements regarding the processing of sensitive personal data in the context of preventative or occupational medicine, employee working capacity, medical diagnosis, provision of health or social care, or management of health or social care systems or services. However, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK each impose additional conditions when controllers seek personal data in any of these contexts. The nature of these conditions varies substantially from one EEA Member State to the next.

(iv) Public interest in the area of public health

In the majority of EEA Member States, there are no specific requirements regarding the processing of sensitive personal data on the basis of public interest in the area of public health. However, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and the UK each impose additional conditions when controllers seek to rely on substantial public interest in order to process sensitive personal data. The nature of these conditions varies substantially from one EEA Member State to the next.

(v) Archiving purposes, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes

The majority of EEA Member States impose additional conditions when controllers process personal data in the context of archiving purposes, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes. The nature of these conditions varies substantially from one EEA Member State to the next. The only EEA Member States that do not impose such restrictions are Bulgaria, Hungary, Liechtenstein, Lithuania and Romania.

———

(c) Has national law introduced any further conditions and/ or limitations with regard to the processing of genetic data, biometric data, or health data?

EEA Member States have adopted different positions on this issue. For example:

  • Austria, Iceland, Lithuania and Norway have not imposed any specific rules;
  • Belgium, Croatia, France, Slovenia and Spain have imposed obligations to conduct Impact Assessments, or notify (and in some cases obtain authorisation from) the DPA or another specified authority;
  • Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK have imposed rules on processing genetic data, biometric data or health data, in specific sectors (e.g., insurance) or for specific purposes (e.g., detection and prevention of crime); and
  • Greece prohibits processing of genetic data for health and life insurance purposes.

———

[back to top of page]

 

 

Q6/ Data relating to criminal offences or convictions

Under what conditions does national law permit the processing of personal data relating to criminal convictions?

EEA Member States have adopted different positions on this issue. For example:

  • Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, France, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK permit such processing if it is, for example, required by applicable law, necessary for the purposes of courts operating in a judicial capacity or performed under the control of an official authority;
  • Belgium, Bulgaria, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Liechtenstein, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK permit such processing if it is necessary, for example, for legal proceedings, the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims, or the investigation or detection of crime;
  • Belgium, the Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and the UK permit such processing if it is necessary, for example, for public interest, overriding legitimate interests, protection of vital interests, scientific, historical, statistical, archiving, academic, literary, artistic or journalistic purposes;
  • Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway and the UK permit such processing if, for example, the data subject has consented, or the relevant criminal data have manifestly been made public by the data subject;
  • Croatia, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia and the UK permit such processing if, for example, it is necessary for the performance of a contract to which the data subject is a party, the processing has been approved by the relevant works council, the processing is necessary for compliance with applicable employment law, or the processing is necessary for the purposes of employment background checks (in some cases, only where necessary in the context of the relevant job); and
  • Cyprus, Germany, Greece and Romania impose no specific rules in respect of such processing.

———

[back to top of page]

 

 

Q7/ Exemptions

(a) Does national law specify exemptions to a data subject’s right to erasure?

EEA Member States have adopted different positions on this issue. For example:

  • Austria, Germany and Slovenia permit the right to erasure to be limited due to economic or technical constraints, or where erasure would require disproportionate effort;
  • Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Ireland and Malta disapply the right to erasure to the extent necessary, for example, for journalistic purposes, or scientific, artistic or literary purposes, to avoid prejudicing formal investigations or the detection or prevention of crime, to protect public order and national security, or to protect the rights and freedoms of others;
  • Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein and Slovenia disapply the right to erasure to the extent necessary, for example, for the purposes of maintaining records in an employment, academic or governmental context, for archiving, scientific or historical purposes, or for freedom of expression and information;
  • Greece provides a number of exemptions to the right to erasure, in the context of non-automated data processing, establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims or compliance with a legal obligation, where processing is unlawful, where personal data is no longer necessary for purposes for which it was collected, where it would harm legitimate interests;
  • the UK provides a broad range of exemptions to the right to erasure, in the context of processing necessary in the context of, for example, governmental, educational, and legal purposes; and
  • Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden provide no specific exemptions to the right to erasure.

———

(b) Does national law specify exemptions to a data subject’s right to be provided information under Art. 14 GDPR where the personal data has not been obtained from the data subject?

EEA Member States have adopted different positions on this issue. For example:

  • Austria, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Luxembourg and Norway permit the right to information under Art. 14 GDPR to be limited to the extent necessary, for example, for scientific, artistic, literary, journalistic, statistical, historical or archiving purposes, or for freedom of expression and information;
  • Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Norway and Slovenia permit the right to information under Art. 14 GDPR to be limited to the extent necessary, for example, for legal proceedings, or compliance with law;
  • Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg and Norway permit the right to information under Art. 14 GDPR to be limited to the extent necessary, for example, for processing that is in the public interest, administrative decisions, public order purposes, for national security purposes, or the detection and prevention of crime;
  • the Czech Republic, Denmark and Norway provide sectorspecific exemptions to the right to information under Art. 14 GDPR;
  • Italy permits the right to information under Art. 14 GDPR to be disapplied where it would be particularly burdensome;
  • the UK provides a broad range of exemptions to the right to information under Art. 14 GDPR, in the context of processing necessary in the context of, for example, governmental, educational and legal purposes; and
  • Belgium, Bulgaria, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden provide no specific exemptions to the right to information under Art. 14 GDPR.

———

(c) Does national law specify exemptions to a data subject’s right to not be subject to a decision based solely on automated processing, including profiling?

EEA Member States have adopted different positions on this issue. For example:

  • Austria, Estonia, Greece, Liechtenstein and Slovenia permit the right to not be subject to a decision based solely on automated processing, including profiling, to be limited to the extent necessary, for example, for scientific, artistic, literary, journalistic, statistical, historical or archiving purposes, or for freedom of expression and information;
  • Ireland and the Netherlands permit the right to not be subject to a decision based solely on automated processing, including profiling, to be limited to the extent necessary, for example, for legal proceedings, or compliance with law;
  • the Czech Republic, France and Slovenia permit the right to not be subject to a decision based solely on automated processing, including profiling, to be limited to the extent necessary, for example, for processing that is in the public interest, administrative decisions, public order purposes, for national security purposes, or the detection and prevention of crime;
  • Germany, Liechtenstein, Poland and Sweden permit the right to not be subject to a decision based solely on automated processing, including profiling, to be limited in specific contexts (e.g., insurance contracts); and
  • Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and the UK provide no specific exemptions to the right to not be subject to a decision based solely on automated processing, including profiling.

———

[back to top of page]

 

 

Q8/ Restrictions on data subjects’ rights

Aside from the exemptions noted in Q7, does national law contain any other restrictions on the rights of data subjects under Chapter III GDPR?

EEA Member States have adopted different positions on this issue. For example:

  • Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Norway, Romania, Slovakia and Spain provide general exemptions to the rights of data subjects under Chapter III GDPR, for example, for scientific, artistic, literary, journalistic, statistical, historical or archiving purposes, or for freedom of expression and information;
  • Germany, Iceland, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway and Poland provide general exemptions to the rights of data subjects under Chapter III GDPR, for example, for legal proceedings, or compliance with law;
  • Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia and Norway provide general exemptions to the rights of data subjects under Chapter III GDPR, for example, for the purposes of public interests, overriding legitimate interests, or protection of vital interests, administrative decisions, public order purposes, for national security purposes, or the detection and prevention of crime;
  • Cyprus and the Czech Republic permit certain of the rights of data subjects under Chapter III GDPR to be limited provided that, for example, an Impact Assessment has been carried out, and/or the DPA has been notified;
  • Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Poland and Portugal permit certain of the rights of data subjects under Chapter III GDPR be limited in specific contexts (e.g., financial supervision, AML or fraud prevention);
  • the UK provides a broad range of exemptions to the rights of data subjects under Chapter III GDPR, in the context of processing necessary in the context of, for example, governmental, educational and legal purposes; and
  • Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Slovenia and Sweden provide no specific exemptions to the rights of data subjects under Chapter III GDPR.

———

[back to top of page]

 

 

Q9/ Joint controllership

Does national law provide rules or guidance on the apportionment of responsibility between joint controllers?

The GDPR requires joint controllers to apportion data protection compliance responsibilities by means of an arrangement. The arrangement may also designate a contact point for data subjects. The GDPR permits EEA Member States’ law to which the controllers are subject to determine the respective responsibilities of the controllers.

  • most EEA Member States have not implemented additional rules on apportionment of liability between joint controllers; and
  • Bulgaria requires joint controllers to designate a contact point for data subjects. Furthermore, the Bulgarian DPA has issued guidelines on apportionment of liability in joint controllership.

———

[back to top of page]

 

 

Q10/ Processor

In addition to the contract between controller and processor, are there any pieces of legislation which govern processing by a processor?

The GDPR sets out certain obligations that processors have to comply with. It also requires that the processing of personal data by a processor must be governed by a contract.

  • in addition to the obligations and requirements set out in the GDPR, there are no other pieces of legislation which govern the processing by a processor in most of the EEA Member States; and
  • the Czech Republic applies additional rules for the processor with regard to processing carried out for certain purposes (e.g., the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties).

———

[back to top of page]

 

 

Q11/ Impact Assessments

Are there any circumstances in which national law requires an Impact Assessment to be carried out, where the GDPR would not otherwise require such an assessment?

Where processing operations are likely to result in a high risk to the rights and freedoms of natural persons, the GDPR requires the controller to carry out an assessment of the impact of the envisaged processing operations on the protection of personal data. The GDPR provides a non-exhaustive list of certain processing operations that require the relevant controller to conduct a data protection Impact Assessment (e.g., in the case of profiling, processing of special categories of personal data on a large scale, or systematic monitoring of a publicly accessible area on a large scale). Additionally, each competent DPA must establish and make public a list of the kind of processing operations which are subject to the requirement for a data protection Impact Assessment.

  • in most EEA Member States data protection Impact Assessments are only required in accordance with the provisions of the GDPR;
  • Austria, Denmark, France, Greece, Ireland, Lithuania, Norway and Slovenia have published lists of the kind of processing operations which are subject to the requirement of a data protection Impact Assessment;
  • Belgium and Cyprus require certain public authorities to conduct data protection Impact Assessments in relation to certain activities;
  • Croatia, Cyprus, Finland, Ireland and Italy require controllers to conduct data protection Impact Assessments for certain processing of sensitive personal data (e.g., transfer of sensitive personal data to third countries, processing of minors’ personal data for marketing purposes and processing of personal data for health research purposes); and
  • Cyprus, Hungary, Luxembourg, Portugal and Romania set out further processing activities that are subject to a data protection Impact Assessment under certain conditions (e.g., mandatory data processing, implementation of measures that restrict certain rights of data subjects, where in relation to a processing activity a data breach has taken place, or processing for scientific or historical research or statistical purposes).

———

[back to top of page]

 

 

Q12/ Prior authorisation and public interest

Are there any circumstances in which national law requires controllers to consult with, or obtain prior authorisation from, the DPA in relation to processing for the performance of a task carried out by the controller in the public interest (including processing in relation to social protection and public health)?

The GDPR requires controllers to consult the relevant DPA prior to processing where a data protection Impact Assessment (refer to Q11 above) indicates that the processing would result in a high risk in the absence of measures taken by the controller to mitigate the risk. In addition, EEA Member States’ law may require controllers to consult with, and obtain prior authorisation from, the relevant DPA in relation to processing by a controller for the performance of a task carried out by the controller in the public interest (including processing in relation to social protection and public health).

In most EEA Member States, consultation with or prior authorisation from the DPA is only required in accordance with the provisions of the GDPR.

A number of EEA Member States, such as Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, France, Iceland, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Slovenia, have set out additional conditions under which a controller must consult with, and obtain prior authorisation from, the competent DPA.

———

[back to top of page]

 

 

Q13/ DPOs

(a) Does national law require controllers to appoint a DPO in circumstances other than those in Art. 37(1) GDPR?

The GDPR sets out certain circumstances under which controllers and processors have to appoint a DPO. Additionally, EEA Member States can set out additional circumstances in which controllers and processors are required to appoint a DPO.

  • in most EEA Member States, DPOs are only mandatory in the circumstances set out in Art. 37(1) GDPR;
  • Belgium, Finland, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg, Italy and Romania set out further circumstances in addition to those specified in the GDPR in which a controller and a processor have to appoint a DPO (e.g., where the controller or processor conducts certain processing activities of certain sensitive personal data, processing for scientific or historical research purposes, or processing by certain public authorities);
  • the Czech Republic requires entities established by law and performing statutory tasks in the public interest to appoint a DPO; and
  • Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Sweden impose secrecy obligations on DPOs.

———

(b) Does national law impose secrecy and confidentiality obligations on DPOs and if so, in what circumstances do they apply?

Pursuant to the GDPR, the DPO must be bound by secrecy or confidentiality concerning the performance of his or her tasks, in accordance with laws of the European Union or the EEA Member States.

———

[back to top of page]

 

 

Q14/ International data transfers

(a) Does national law make specific rules about transfers of personal data from public registers?

Under the GDPR, the transfer of personal data to third countries is subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions (e.g., implementation of appropriate safeguards, such as the EU Standard Contractual Clauses). However, these conditions do not need to be fulfilled if the transfer is made from a register which, according to EEA Member State law, is intended to provide information to the public and which is open to consultation. This applies only to the extent that the conditions laid down by the relevant EEA Member State law for consultation are fulfilled in the particular case.

  • in most of the EEA Member States public registers are not subject to specific rules. However, it should be noted that Norwegian law does not permit public archives to be stored outside of Norway; and
  • Slovenia requires personal data transferred from a public register to be transferred to a data subject.

———

(b) Does national law restrict the transfer of specific categories of personal data to third countries?

In the absence of an Adequacy Decision, EEA Member State law may, for important reasons of public interest, expressly set limits to the transfer of specific categories of personal data to a third country.

  • most of the EEA Member States have not implemented any restrictions beyond those set out in the GDPR;
  • Cyprus and Denmark, under certain conditions, apply certain additional restrictions to the transfer of sensitive personal data to third countries; and
  • Liechtenstein applies certain additional restrictions to the transfer of personal data by banks or telecommunication companies to third countries. Slovakia applies certain additional restrictions to law enforcement authorities that transfer personal data relating to criminal offences and convictions to third countries.

———

[back to top of page]

 

 

Q15/ DPAs

(a) Details of the DPA(s).

Each EEA Member State has one or more DPAs, each of which has its own contact details.

———

(b) If more than one national DPA has been established, what is the rationale behind multiple DPAs?

In the majority of EEA Member States, one DPA has been established.

A number of EEA Member States have established multiple bodies with responsibility for supervising data protection compliance.

  • Belgium has the following additional supervisory bodies: the supervisory body on police information, which supervises data processing by federal and nonfederal police forces, the Standing Committee I, which supervises data processing by the intelligence services, and Committee P, together with Standing Committee I, which supervise data processing in the context of the Coordination Unit for Threat Assessment;
  • Bulgaria has the Inspectorate to the Supreme Judicial Council which supervises the processing of personal data by the courts, prosecutors and investigative bodies when acting in the performance of their functions as judiciary bodies;
  • Germany has multiple DPAs because of Germany’s federal structure. Therefore, the Federal Republic, as well as each federal state, has established its own DPA; and
  • Lithuania has the Inspector of Journalists and Ethics who monitors the application of the GDPR and data protection law when personal data are processed for journalistic purposes and for academic, artistic or literary purposes.

———

(c) How does national law ensure consistent application of the GDPR by the various DPAs in accordance with Art. 63 GDPR?

Where EEA Member States have established more than one body to supervise data protection, national laws ensure the consistent application of the GDPR.

  • Belgium implemented a one-stop-shop mechanism in order to ensure consistency of application between the various DPAs in Belgium. In the event of occurring competences between DPAs, the lead DPA will be the central contact and communication point for the processing advice, recommendations and complaints. The various DPAs each have a duty of close cooperation;
  • Bulgaria provides that the DPA and the Inspectorate to the Supreme Judicial Council have separate and distinct competencies with respect to supervising compliance with GDPR;
  • Germany provides that if the Federal DPA and the state DPAs fail to agree on a common position, the lead DPA, or in the absence of a lead DPA, the joint representative and his or her deputy, will present a recommendation for a common position; and
  • Lithuania has the Inspector of Journalists and Ethics who monitors the application of the GDPR and data protection law when personal data are processed for journalistic purposes and for academic, artistic or literary purposes.

———

(d) Does national law grant the relevant DPA additional powers beyond those set out in Art. 58 GDPR?

Many EEA Member States do not grant any additional powers to the DPA beyond those set out in Art. 58 GDPR. The majority of EEA Member States have granted additional powers to their DPAs beyond those set out in Art. 58 GDPR (full details are set out in the relevant EEA Member State section).

———

(e) What national appeals process exists to enable parties to challenge the decisions of the DPA?

Each EEA Member State has its own appeals process to enable parties to challenge the decisions of the DPA, details of which are set out in the relevant EEA Member State sections.

———

(f) Have specific national rules been adopted regarding the DPA’s power to obtain information from controllers or processors that are subject to obligations of professional secrecy (or equivalent)?

Many EEA Member States have no specific rules regarding the DPA’s power to obtain information from controllers or processors that are subject to obligations of professional secrecy.

A number of EEA Member States have implemented specific national rules regarding the DPA’s power to obtain information from controllers or processors that are subject to obligations of professional secrecy.

  • Belgium’s DPA can search the offices of controllers or processors who are subject to professional secrecy with prior permission from the data subject or the investigation judge. In addition, medical personal data can only be communicated to the DPA in accordance with relevant rules on medial professional secrecy;
  • Bulgaria’s controllers and processors may be prevented from accessing information covered by an obligation of secrecy. If the relevant information contains data which is considered classified, the procedure for access pursuant to the Classified Information Protection Act applies;
  • Croatia requires the processing of classified data to be carried out in accordance with applicable law, and can normally only be carried out by officials having a valid certificate for access to classified data;
  • Cyprus enables the DPA to access all personal data and all other information required for the performance of its tasks, including confidential information but excluding information covered by legal professional privilege;
  • the Czech Republic enables the DPA to obtain confidential information, unless applicable law requires otherwise. The DPA can access information protected by legal privilege, with the consent of, and in the presence of, a representative of the Czech Bar Association who has been appointed by the President of the Bar Association. Court authorisation can also be sought;
  • Finnish DPA may obtain information necessary for the performance of its duties, irrespective of the obligations of secrecy;
  • in France a controller cannot invoke professional secrecy against a DPA unless the data relate to correspondence between a lawyer and a client. The DPA may only access medical data covered by medical confidentiality in the presence of, and under the authority of, a doctor;
  • in Greece a controller or processor under investigation has no right to object to the DPA’s access to information on the grounds of confidentiality or secrecy, except in case of ID data stored for national security purposes of detection of serious crime;
  • in Iceland the DPA has a right to request information or access to offices or computer systems and such access cannot be limited based on obligations of professional secrecy;
  • in Ireland a controller or processor can refuse to provide information on the basis that it is subject to legal privilege; however, the DPA can challenge this assertion before the High Court subject to satisfying certain criteria;
  • Liechtenstein enables the DPA to access all information necessary for the performance of their duties, including personal data subject to official secrecy. Representatives of non-public bodies may refuse to provide information if provision would expose him or her to criminal prosecution;
  • Luxembourg permits the DPA to access information from lawyers, notaries and auditors, and the DPA can only obtain access to such information that is necessary for the performance of its tasks under the conditions set forth in the professional regulations applicable to lawyers, notaries and auditors. Additionally, access to the premises of lawyers and auditors is subject to the legal provisions regulating their profession;
  • in the Netherlands the DPA may obtain information from controllers or processors subject to obligations of professional secrecy (or equivalent) to the extent that the information or cooperation is required in connection with their own involvement in the processing of personal data;
  • in Norway the DPA may obtain information with regard to confidentiality; however, where the information is necessary to national security, diplomacy, foreign policy or other vital national security interests, access may be restricted;
  • Poland authorises the DPA to access information and documents subject to obligations of secrecy unless relevant laws provide otherwise;
  • in Portugal the public and private entities must cooperate with the DPA in particular when the DPA needs to examine computer systems or relevant filing systems, and all documentation relating to the processing and transmission of personal data in order to exercise the relevant entity’s functions; and
  • in Slovenia where documentation or data are covered by legal privilege, the DPA must submit a list of the relevant materials to a court-appointed expert who will examine the materials and establish which of those can be disclosed to the DPA.

———

[back to top of page]

 

 

Q16/ Claims by not-for-profit bodies

Does national law specify any not-for-profit bodies that are entitled to bring claims on behalf of individuals without the specific mandate of those individuals?

The majority of EEA Member States have not specified any not-for-profit bodies that are entitled to bring claims on behalf of individuals without the specific mandate of those individuals.

A number of EEA Member States have implemented specific measures in this area.

  • in France, a class action relating to harm caused by data protection non-compliance may only be brought by associations meeting specified criteria
  • in Germany, consumer organisations may bring collective actions in the interests of consumers regarding processing in the context of advertising, market and opinion research, credit bureaus, the creation of personality and usage profiles, address trading and similar commercial purposes; and
  • Lithuania requires claims submitted by not-for-profits to include in their claim documents confirming they are working in the field of personal data protection."

———

[back to top of page]

 

 

Q17/ Administrative fines, penalties and sanctions

(a) Does national law lay down rules on whether and to what extent administrative fines may be imposed on public authorities for breaches of the GDPR?

Many EEA Member States do not lay down rules on whether and to what extent administrative fines may be imposed on public authorities for breaches of the GDPR.

A number of EEA Member States lay down specific rules on this issue.

  • in Austria administrative fines cannot be imposed on public authorities and public bodies;
  • Belgium prohibits administrative fines for breaches of the GDPR to be imposed on the government or on its servants or agents, except for legal persons under public law that offer goods or services on the market;
  • in Croatia a public authority may not be subject to an administrative fine for violations of the GDPR or Implementation Act;
  • in Cyprus an administrative fine imposed on a public authority carrying out not-for-profit activities must not exceed €200,000;
  • in the Czech Republic the maximum amount of the fine for public authorities is CZK 10 million (approximately €390,000). Fines may not be imposed on some public authorities (including municipalities that do not exercise delegated powers and legal persons carrying out activity on behalf of schools);
  • in Denmark public authorities can be fined for infringements of the GDPR, subject to limitations of DKK 8 million (approximately €1.07 million) and DKK 16 million (approximately €2.1 million), depending on the nature of the infringement;
  • in Finland administrative fines may not be imposed on Finish public authorities, any other public body or the Evangelical Lutheran Church or Orthodox Church of Finland;
  • German public authorities and other public bodies are not subject to administrative fines;
  • Greek public authorities are subject to administrative fines of up to 10 million euro;
  • in Hungary public authorities may be fined between HUF 100,000 (approximately €280) and HUF 20 million (approximately €55,000) for specific infringements;
  • Irish administrative fines must not exceed €1 million where these are imposed on public authority or public body, provided it is not acting as an undertaking within the meaning of the Competition Act 2002;
  • in Liechtenstein public authorities and public bodies are not subject to fines;
  • in Lithuania administrative fines imposed on public institutions may not exceed €30,000 or €60,000, depending on the nature of the infringement;
  • in Luxembourg the DPA cannot impose fines on the State or municipalities;
  • in Malta the DPA may impose administrative fines on a public authority subject to limitations of €25,000 and €50,000, depending on the nature of the infringement;
  • in the Netherlands fines may be imposed on public authorities in the same way that they may be imposed on others;
  • Norway may impose fines on public authorities;
  • Poland imposes fines of up to PLN 100,000 (approximately €23,300) on specified public authorities;
  • in Portugal, public authorities are subject to administrative fines for breach of the GDPR;
  • Romania imposes fines of up to RON 200,000 (approximately €42,000) on public authorities;
  • Slovenia imposes minor fines on public authorities for breaching obligations relating to the processing of biometric data; and
  • in Sweden fines on public authorities must not exceed SEK 5 million or SEK 10 million (approximately €470,000 or €940,000, depending on the nature of the infringement).

———

(b) Does national law impose penalties/sanctions in addition to those set out in the GDPR, for breaches of the GDPR not subject to administrative fines (e.g., criminal penalties)?

Many EEA Member States do not impose penalties or sanctions in addition to those set out in the GDPR, for breaches of the GDPR not subject to administrative fines.

The majority of EEA Member States have imposed penalties/ sanctions in addition to those set out in the GDPR, for breaches of the GDPR not subject to administrative fines (full details are set out in the relevant Member State section).

———

[back to top of page]

 

 

Q18/ Freedom of expression and information

(a) What (if anything) does national law do to balance the provisions of the GDPR against the right to freedom of expression and information?

The majority of EEA Member States have implemented specific measures to address the balance of freedom of expression and information against the provisions of the GDPR. Full details are set out in the relevant EEA Member State section. Only Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany and Poland have not implemented any specific measures in this regard.

———

(b) What derogations have been introduced by national law concerning the processing of personal data for the purpose of academic, artistic or literary expression?

The majority of EEA Member States have introduced derogations concerning the processing of personal data for the purpose of academic, artistic or literary expression. Details of the applicable derogations are set out in the relevant EEA Member State section. Only Croatia, Cyprus and Germany have not implemented any derogations in this regard.

———

[back to top of page]

 

 

Q19/ National identification numbers

Does national law stipulate specific conditions for the processing of a national identification number, and if so, what are the conditions?

While a number of EEA Member States do not have any specific provisions governing the issue of processing national ID numbers, some individual EEA Member States have imposed conditions or restrictions on such processing.

  • the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden and Ireland only permit processing of national ID numbers in certain limited circumstances or where a controller has satisfied a number of conditions set out in the relevant national law;
  • Belgium require prior authorisation from, or consultation with, the Belgian Minister of the Interior;
  • Bulgaria has legislation stating that free public access to any information containing a personal ID number is not permitted unless otherwise authorised by law and that if a controller provides services by electronic means they must take appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure that the personal ID number is not the only means of identifying the user when remote access to the service is provided;
  • Lithuania prohibits the processing of national ID numbers for direct marketing purposes or the making of those numbers public;
  • Iceland permits the use of national ID numbers for objective purposes and when it is necessary to ensure secure personal identification. Furthermore, the DPA can forbid or authorise the processing of national ID numbers; and
  • in Slovenia when processing personal data in areas relating to health, police, defence, the judiciary and the State prosecutor’s office, national law does not permit national ID numbers to be exclusively processed as the only identifier, other than for limited purposes.

———

[back to top of page]

 

 

Q20/ Processing in the context of employment

(a) For what purposes can employees’ personal data in the employment context be processed under national law?

The majority of EEA Member States have national laws that detail specific purposes for which personal data in the employment context can be processed.

  • in Croatia national law provides that employees’ data may be collected, processed, used or delivered to third parties only if permitted by the Labour Act or another law, or if it is necessary for the exercise of rights and obligations arising from the employment relationship;
  • Bulgaria only permits personal data to be processed for the purposes of recruitment and tax purposes;
  • Denmark permits processing only where it is necessary for the purpose of observing and respecting the employment law obligations and rights of the controller, or of the data subject, as laid down by national law, or collective agreements and legitimate interests;
  • Estonia and Ireland impose specific requirements and stricter rules relating to processing of sensitive personal data and, in particular, health data of employees;
  • in France the processing of employee data is permitted for the purposes of the employee’s employment contract and in the context of HR/payroll issues;
  • in Norway employees’ sensitive personal data can only be processed if it is necessary to perform obligations or exercise rights in the field of employment, and a company’s access to employees’ email accounts, etc., is only permitted in certain limited circumstances;
  • national law in Finland, Italy, the Netherlands and Lichtenstein permits an employer to only process personal data that is directly necessary for the employee’s employment relationship in certain specific situations;
  • Poland limits the purposes for which employers may process employee biometric data;
  • in addition, Greece, Poland, Luxembourg, Romania, Slovakia and Portugal all place restrictions on the purposes for which employers may process employee personal data via CCTV and electronic monitoring systems;
  • Portugal also requires that employers keep an updated register of employees in each establishment, including a number of specific pieces of information;
  • Lithuania restricts the collection of personal data relating to qualifications, professional skills and business characteristics of a candidate applying for a job from a former employer, and where CCTV and/or audio data is processed in the workplace to monitor employees’ behaviour, employees must be informed of such processing in writing or by a method whereby in compliance with Art. 13(1)-(2) GDPR;
  • in Germany employee personal data may be processed for employment-related purposes where necessary for hiring decisions or, after hiring, for carrying out or terminating the employment contract or to exercise or satisfy rights and obligations of employees’ representation laid down by law or by collective agreements or other agreements between the employer and staff council;
  • in Greece, national law provides that employees’ data can be processed in connection with the employment relationship, on the basis of consent, in exceptional circumstances, and on the basis of collective employment agreements. Also, sensitive personal data can be processed in this context, to the extent necessary for the exercise of rights and the fulfilment of legal obligations arising from employment law or social security law;  
  • Slovakia restricts the collection of employee personal data to only that personal data that may be relevant in relation to the work performed by the employee, and employers may not collect certain types of sensitive personal data; and
  • Latvia permits the processing of certain types of personal data in an employment relationship, and an employer cannot process employee personal data related to criminal convictions except where permitted by law. In addition, an applicant has a duty to provide information to the employer regarding the state of their health to assess whether the person is fit to fulfil the relevant work duties.

———

(b) Does national law provide safeguards for employees’ dignity, legitimate interests, and fundamental rights?

A number of EEA Member States have imposed specific safeguards.

  • pursuant to national law in Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia, an employer is obliged to safeguard the dignity of the employee during the term of the employment relationship;
  • French law imposes general rules on the preservation of privacy, individual and collective rights and principle of proportionality, and the obligation to provide employees with prior information on processing of their personal data;
  • Hungarian law provides a number of safeguards and employee rights, including the right of the employee and a works council to request information regarding the personal data processed by the employer and restrictions on the processing of biometric data;
  • in Italy personal data collected for recruitment purposes may not be processed with the aim of determining the political opinions, religious beliefs or trade union membership, of the prospective employee, or other facts not relevant to the professional assessment of the prospective employee;
  • in Germany if personal data of employees are processed on the basis of consent, then the employee’s bargaining power and the circumstances under which consent was given must be taken into account in assessing whether such consent was freely given and, in general, the controller must take appropriate measures to ensure compliance with the GDPR;
  • in Luxembourg and Slovenia national law provides a number of safeguards in relation to the processing of employees’ data for monitoring purposes (in particular CCTV monitoring in Slovenia);
  • Poland imposes a number of necessary safeguards that employers must comply with in relation to the processing of personal data via CCTV and the monitoring of emails; and
  • national law in Portugal contains provisions recognising freedom of expression and dissemination of thoughts and opinions within an organisation and sets out obligations of employers and employees to respect each other’s right to privacy.

———

[back to top of page]

 

 

Q21/ Other material derogations

Are there any other material derogations from, or additions to, the GDPR under national law?

Only certain EEA Member States have derogations from, or additions to, the GDPR.

  • Austria, Croatia, and Estonia, where national law has certain provisions applicable to processing image data or personal data via CCTV;
  • Cyprus, in which the courts acting in their judicial capacity and the Cyprus Parliament have special provisions regarding their processing of personal data;
  • France, where the law does not apply to data processing activities that relate to temporary copies of personal data made in the context of the technical activities;
  • in Norway the GDPR does not apply to law enforcement activities which are instead subject to the Law Enforcement Act. The GDPR also does not apply to areas of law that are outside the scope of Union law, such as national security, and does not apply to purely personal or household activity;
  • Sweden and Poland, where the GDPR does not apply to activities subject to legislation on processing personal data in the context of the armed forces, intelligence services, or the police and, in Poland particularly, processing in the context of national security;
  • in Germany there are a number of important derogations around profiling, which is only permitted if certain criteria are met, and CCTV in publicly accessible areas;
  • Latvian national law provides derogations from the GDPR regarding the use of vehicle dash cameras and surveillance cameras;
  • Malta only permits the processing of health data in the context of insurance if certain requirements are met;
  • in Slovakia personal data of a data subject may only be obtained from another natural person (different from the data subject) and processed in the information system of the controller with the prior written consent of the data subject, other than in limited circumstances; and
  • in Slovenia national law that is currently being considered will include derogations in respect of CCTV and direct marketing.

———

[back to top of page]

 

 

Q22/ Current legal challenges

Are there any current legal challenges (e.g., court cases or regulatory appeals) regarding the validity or operation of the national GDPR implementation law (e.g., claims that the law incorrectly applies the GDPR; claims that the law is incompatible with constitutional principles; etc.)?

The majority of Member States have not had any challenges to national GDPR implementation laws apart from the following:

  • in Belgium a recent action for annulment of Art. 221, s. 2 of the Law of 30 July 2018 was introduced before the Constitutional Court by the non-profit organisation for Belgian enterprises. The annulment action is currently pending and challenges the exclusion of the government or its servants or agents from the applicability of administrative fines for breaches of the GDPR; and
  • in Germany it is currently disputed whether a violation of the GDPR can serve as a claim against a competitor under the Act Against Unfair Competition.

———

[back to top of page]

 

 

Q23/ Enforcement

Has the local DPA issued any material fines or taken any material enforcement action to date for breaches of the GDPR?

A number of local DPAs have issued fines or otherwise taken material enforcement action.

  • in Greece, following a complaint made in 2017 and after conducting an ex officio investigation, the DPA imposed a monetary fine of €150,000, in respect of unlawful processing of personal data of employees;
  • in Portugal the DPA does not publish its decisions regarding the administrative fines it has imposed. Nevertheless, the DPA has announced that it has initiated several administrative proceedings for breaches of the GDPR without specifying the violations nor the number of proceedings that have been initiated. In a recent case, the DPA issued a decision against a hospital, imposing three fines totalling €400,000;
  • in Norway the DPA issued a fine to the municipality of Bergen of NOK 1.6 million for lack of security of personal data in the municipality’s school system and has also issued a notification of a fine to the municipality of Oslo of NOK 2 million for lack of security of personal data in an app used and developed by the municipality’s school department;
  • in the Netherlands the DPA imposed a ban, starting 1 January 2020, on the processing of the national ID numbers for the Dutch Tax Authority, and imposed an incremental penalty payment on the Employee Insurance Agency for not implementing the appropriate security measures for its login portal for employers; and
  • in Italy the DPA imposed its first fine of €50,000 for breach of the GDPR. The fine was issued for failure to adopt appropriate technical and organisational measures in breach of Art. 32 GDPR, against a data processor that provided services related to the operation of websites.

———

[back to top of page]

 

 

Q24/ Regulatory Guidance

Has the DPA issued any significant guidance on the application of the GDPR or national implementation law?

Some examples of guidance on the application of the GDPR or national implementation law issued by DPAs in individual Member States include:

  • Greece, where the DPA issued guidance on processing activities which require an Impact Assessment, guidance on standardised applications for prior consultation with the DPA as well as template registries of processing activities, and standardised notification form for personal data breaches;
  • Sweden and Hungary, where the DPAs have issued a number of practical guides on GDPR compliance;
  • in addition, the Swedish DPA, as well as the Austrian DPA, have also established and published a list of the types of processing where an Impact Assessment must be performed;
  • the Slovenian and Liechtenstein DPAs which have published, inter alia, template documents, including privacy notices and registers of processing;
  • Latvia, France and Ireland, where the DPA has published several guidelines on different data protection issues, including CCTV and Impact Assessments; and
  • the Portuguese DPA has published several template documents for controller to register their processing activities, to register a DPO and to notify of a personal data breach.

———

[back to top of page]

 

 

Other chapters

  • Country-by-country guides:

———

See also:

Our Global Data, Privacy & Cybersecurity Practice »

GDPR Handbook: Unlocking the EU General Data Protection Regulation »

———

[back to top of page]

 

 

This publication is provided for your convenience and does not constitute legal advice. This publication is protected by copyright.
© 2019 White & Case LLP