The importance of privacy protection is being felt to an ever increasing extent, in all echelons of society. The Personal Data Protection Act provides for comprehensive and stringent protection of privacy, in the private and public sector alike.
Basic principles of privacy law
The law states that any processing of personal data must comply with the (stringent) criteria of the law. As soon as you do something with personal data, this constitutes processing. This may involve the processing of employee or client data, conducting marketing activities, measuring and recording computer or software use or the productivity of employees, measuring the consumption of energy or other services or the exchange of information in the healthcare sector.
In principle, personal data may only be collected when you have informed the person concerned of your identity and objectives beforehand. In other words, you have an obligation to provide information. You may then only process the data in accordance with these purposes and only to the extent necessary. You must also check that you have grounds for the processing of such personal data as stated by law. If you don’t have such legal grounds, you must ask the person concerned for permission.
Furthermore, it applies that you are not allowed to store the data for too long, you must secure the data adequately and you are obliged to ensure that your employees and/or the third parties enlisted by you also comply with the strict data protection laws. You are responsible for ensuring that your organisation’s policy for the processing of personal data is up to par with these laws. The Dutch Data Protection Authority (College Bescherming Persoonsgegevens) can oversee this, in its capacity as a supervisory body, and may impose fines or penalties or may proceed to publish its findings if it encounters violations.
We give advice on privacy law to large businesses and SMEs in various sectors: IT – and internet companies, universities and educational institutions, hospitals and other healthcare institutions and public authorities. With our expertise, we can also be of service to you, because all organisations process personal data, whether it involves a business, a school, a healthcare institution or the public authorities.
Dirkzwager has considerable experience and specialised expertise in the privacy law domain. Our specialised privacy lawyers from the various departments at Dirkzwager (such as IT law, employment law and healthcare), work together closely on this topic. As a result, we can advise you, whilst paying special attention to the different facets of privacy law in your specific situation, and solutions can be found on how to deal with the very strict data protection laws, in a practical way. You are welcome to contact one of the specialists below for more information on matters relating to privacy law.
What can we do for your organisation with respect to privacy legislation? We provide legal advice and assistance with:
- assessing and advising on the extent to which your organisation complies with privacy legislation
- making proper (contractual) arrangements relating to privacy law with all your chain partners and all third parties enlisted by you
- advising on international exchanges (transfers) of information (for example: with suppliers or within your group of companies)
- assisting in legal proceedings, for example, when the Dutch Data Protection Authority (the supervisory body) initiates enforcement action or in the event of a dispute with the individual whose data you are processing (such as a client or employee)
- advising on or assisting you in considering the privacy aspects relating to the development of new products and services
Do the privacy check
Dirkzwager has developed the privacy check: a free online tool to help you determine, by merely answering Yes or No, whether your intended or existing processing of personal data meets the requirements of the Personal Data Protection Act. Try the privacy check yourself and see if your organisation complies with privacy legislation. Determine just how far privacy legislation affects the activities conducted by your organisation. Click on www.dirkzwagerieit.nl/privacycheck/ for more information on this topic, or to try the privacy check.
Note: this privacy check is only available in Dutch.