The collection, processing, and use of personal data are regulated by a special law in the Netherlands. The data protection law is included in the Personal Data Protection Act which has drawn up according to national data protection principles but also according to the existing EU directives on the protection of individuals and the free movement of data.
Personal data consists of all and any information that can be related to a natural person. Other natural or legal persons as well as administrative bodies are allowed to collect and process this kind of information but only if they take special steps to assure its protection and proper erasure when necessary.
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General issues related to personal data in the Netherlands
Personal data includes all information about an individual that can be identified, including sensitive personal data. This category includes information like race, religion, political orientation, criminal behavior and others. This information may be collected, however, organizations or companies in the Netherlands that collect and process personal information must disclose the purpose for which the data will be use and the said purpose must be explicit and legitimate. The individual must consent to the release and use of his or her personal information.
The action of processing personal data includes not only its collection but also other operations used to record the information, organize and store them, update, consult and disseminate them. The erasure and/or destruction of this data must be done according to law and, in some cases, it is mandatory after a certain period of time. The individual who consented to the use of his data is legally allowed to modify the given information.
One of the experts at our Dutch law firm can give you complete information about the collection and storage rules for personal information gatheredd in the country.
The processing of personal data in the Netherlands
According to the Data Protection Act in the Netherlands, personal data can only be processed if the individual has expressly and without doubt offered his consent for the collection of the information. This action is deemed necessary if it is an important step in fulfilling a legal obligation to which the subject to gives the data is a part of. Also, the collection of data can be required if it is a step needed for the protection of a vital interest.
Dutch companies can also transfer personal data, but only in some cases. When processing sensitive information, data controllers must use the adequate software and implement good measures to ensure the protection of said data against unlawful breaches or accidental loss.
Our law firm in the Netherlands offers professional legal services for businesses in the country. If your company performs actions related to data collection or transmission and you need more information on the applicable law please do not hesitate to contact us.