Reinier Russell

managing partner

Reinier advises national and international companies
+31 20 301 55 55

New European privacy rules

Publication date 23 August 2017

Does your company collect or process personal data? Do you, for instance, register customer data? Or do you store addresses and telephone numbers of your personnel. If so, you will have to comply with the new European privacy rules!

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New European Data Protection Regulation

The General Data Protection Regulation will take effect soon. This European privacy regulation protects the privacy of EU citizens and creates various requirements for many companies and authorities.

For whom?

Many people think that privacy rules only apply to large data processing companies, such as Facebook and Google. Nothing could be further from the truth! The new privacy rules also apply to all companies and authorities inside and outside of the EU that hold or process personal data of EYU citizens. Probably, your organisation will also have to comply with the requirements.

Please note: Less stringent rules and exceptions to the requirements often apply to medium-sized and small companies.

Processing of personal data

Personal data are data regarding one person or data that can be traced back to this person. These might include names, addresses, telephone numbers and data regarding a person’s religion or health.

Processing of data includes all operations that can be performed with personal data. This might include collecting, registering, storing, updating, consulting and deleting of data.

What will change?

The most important rights and requirements introduced by the General Data Protection Regulation involve the following:

  • Right to transferability of data

If so desired, persons will have to have their personal data at their disposal and be able to transfer these to a different organisation. Data processors will have to ensure that this can be accomplished easily.

In certain cases, personal data will have to be deleted, and it must be prevented that these data will be passed on.

  • Asking permission

For the processing of personal data, permission of the person in question is required. Under the General Data Protection Regulation, you will have to prove that you have got this permission. In addition, withdrawal of the permission should be just as easy as giving permission.

  • Performing ‘privacy impact assessment’

Prior to the processing of data a risk analysis must be performed, where internal privacy risks are examined. By means of this analysis you can take measures to minimize risks as far as possible.

Certain organisations are required to hire a data protection officer. This officer is an independent individual who has to monitor the quality and policy regarding the protection of personal data within the organisation.

If there has been a breach of the security measures of data in your company (for instance, theft of passwords and client data, hacking, or loss of data) the competent data protection supervisor will have to be notified. The notification has to be made as soon as possible and preferably within 72 hours after the leak has been detected. Data leaks not only have to be reported but must also be documented.


The General Data Protection Regulation will enter into force on 25 May 2018 and replace the Dutch Data Protection Act (Wbp). What if companies will not meet the requirements by then? Sanctions, such as severe fines, may be imposed by the data protection supervisors.

What do you have to do?

Probably, your organisation will have to change radically too. Purely administrative changes will usually not be sufficient; your security and IT-systems will have to be in perfect condition too.

Make sure to engage a lawyer who can tell you what has to be done and get started by yesterday. After all, implementing of technical changes can take some time. We will gladly help you by letting you know how to organise your business in the context of the General Data Protection Regulation. Please contact us:

    We process the personal data above with your permission. You can withdraw your permission at any time. For more information please see our Privacy Statement.

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