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The following law(s) specifically govern personal data / information:

Apart from the EU legislation (mainly the GDPR), there is both general and specific national legislation governing data processing.

 

The key data protection principles in this jurisdiction are:

The GDPR is directly applicable, which sets out the following principles:

  • Lawful basis for processing
  • The GDPR provides an exhaustive list of legal bases on which personal data may be processed:

    1. consent of the data subject for one or more specific purposes;
    2. contractual necessity;
    3. compliance with a legal obligation of the controller to perform the relevant processing;
    4. protection of the vital interests of the data subject or of another natural person;
    5. performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller; or
    6. legitimate interests (i.e. the processing is necessary for the purposes of legitimate interests pursued by the controller, except where the controller’s interests are overridden by the interests, fundamental rights or freedoms of the affected data subjects).

    The processing of sensitive personal data requires stronger grounds and is only permitted under certain conditions, of which the most relevant are:

    1. explicit consent of the affected data subject;
    2. the processing is necessary in the context of employment or social security law; or
    3. the processing is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.

  • Transparency
  • Personal data must be processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner. Regarding the processing of personal data, controllers are obliged to provide certain information to data subjects. Such information must be provided in a concise, transparent, intelligible and easily accessible form, using clear and plain language.


  • Purpose limitation
  • Personal data may only be collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and must not be further processed in a manner that is incompatible with those purposes.


  • Data minimisation
  • The processing of personal data must be adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which those data are processed.


  • Accuracy
  • Personal data must be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date.


  • Storage limitation
  • Personal data must be stored in a form that permits identification of data subjects for no longer than it is necessary for the purposes for which the personal data was initially collected.


  • Integrity and confidentiality
  • Personal data must be processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of that data, including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage, using appropriate technical or organisational measures.


  • Accountability
  • The controller is responsible for processing of data in accordance with the GDPR. In particular, the controller is obliged to implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure and to be able to demonstrate that processing is performed in compliance with the GDPR.


 

The supervisory authority / regulator in charge of data protection is:

The Czech Office for Personal Data Protection - https://www.uoou.cz/en/

 

Is there a requirement to register with a supervisory authority / regulator?

No, because the GDPR is directly applicable.

 

Is there a requirement to notify the supervisory authority / regulator?

No.

 

Is it possible to register with / notify the supervisory authority / regulator online?

There is no online form which could be used for notifications under the GDPR.

 

The key data subject rights under the data protection laws of this jurisdiction are:

The rights stipulated under the GDPR (set out below), with certain deviations and restrictions in the cases of processing necessary for compliance with a legal obligation or for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority, and further in cases of processing of data for journalistic, scientific or research purposes.

Rights under the GDPR:


  • Right to information
  • Pursuant to Articles 13 and 14 GDPR, data subjects have the right to be provided with information on the identity of the controller, the reasons for processing their personal data and other relevant information necessary to ensure the fair and transparent processing of personal data.


  • Right of access
  • A data subject has the right to obtain from a controller certain information in respect of the data subject’s personal data as listed in Article 15 GDPR.

    Additionally, the data subject may request a copy of the personal data being processed.

  • Right to rectification of errors
  • Pursuant to Article 16 GDPR, data subjects have the right to rectification of inaccurate personal data.


  • Right to deletion/right to be forgotten
  • Data subjects have the right to erasure of their personal data (the “right to be forgotten”) if one of the reason as listed in Article 17 GDPR apply.


  • Right to restriction of processing
  • Data subjects have the right to request restriction of the processing of personal data, which means that the data may only be processed for limited purposes as defined in Article 18 GDPR.


  • Right to data portability
  • Data subjects have a right to receive a copy of their personal data in a commonly used machine-readable format, and transfer their personal data from one controller to another or have the data transmitted directly between controllers (Article 20 GDPR).

  • Right to object to processing
  • Data subjects have the right to object, on grounds relating to their particular situation, to the processing of personal data where the basis for that processing is either public interest (Article 6 para 1(e) GDPR) or legitimate interest of the controller (Article 6 para 1(f) GDPR). The controller must cease such processing unless it demonstrates compelling legitimate grounds for the processing which override the interests, rights and freedoms of the relevant data subject or requires the data in order to establish, exercise or defend legal rights.

    Data subjects have the right to object to the processing of personal data for marketing purposes, including profiling.


  • Right to withdraw consent
  • A data subject has the right to withdraw their consent at any time (Article 7 para 3 GDPR). The withdrawal of consent does not affect the lawfulness of processing based on consent before the withdrawal.


  • Right to complain to the relevant data protection authority(ies)
  • Data subjects have the right to lodge complaints concerning the processing of their personal data with the competent data protection authority.


  • Right not to be subject to automated individual decision-making
  • Under certain circumstances, data subjects have the right not to be subject to a decision based solely on automated processing of data (including profiling), which produces legal effects or similarly significantly effects for the data subject (Article 22 GDPR).

 

Is there a requirement to appoint a data protection officer (or equivalent)?

Yes, in line with the directly applicable GDPR.

The appointment of a data protection officer for controllers or processors is only mandatory if their core activities include:

  1. large-scale regular and systematic monitoring of individuals; or
  2. large-scale processing of sensitive personal data.

Failure to comply with an obligatory appointment of a data protection officer may result in penalties available under the GDPR. In particular, the controller or processor is subject to an administrative fine of the higher of up to EUR 10 million or 2% of the annual turnover of the respective controller (Article 83 para 4 GDPR).

The voluntary appointment of a data protection officer requires mandatory compliance with the GDPR requirements.

The contact details of the designated data protection officer must be communicated to the data protection authority by the controller or processor.

 

Do data protection/ privacy impact assessments need to be carried out in certain circumstances?

Yes, pursuant to Article 35 GDPR the controller is obliged – prior to the processing – to carry out a data protection impact assessment ("DPIA"), where the type of processing in particular using new technologies, and taking into account the nature, scope, context and purposes of the processing, is likely to result in a high risk to the rights and freedoms of natural persons.

In line with GDPR Art. 35 para (4) and (5), the Czech supervisory authority has also published (i) a list of the kind of processing operations which do not require a DPIA to be made (for example standard employee agenda, standard processing of customers’ and website users’ data, processing conducted by healthcare providers, attorneys, notaries, and social services providers) and (ii) the criteria for determining if any other processing requires DPIA to be completed (based on existence of monitoring of data subjects, processing of certain categories of data, large scale processing, use of advanced or complex infrastructure, use of new technologies).

 

Does this jurisdiction have any specific data breach notification requirements?

The controller is obliged to report a personal data breach to the relevant data protection authority, unless the breach is unlikely to result in a risk to the rights and freedoms of the data subject(s).

Furthermore, the controller is obliged to communicate the breach to the data subject, if the breach is likely to result in a high risk to the rights and freedoms of the natural persons. If the controller is in default with such obligation, the competent authority may require the controller to inform the data subject.

If the controller is obliged to report a personal data breach to the competent authority or/and the data subject, they shall contact them in both cases without undue delay (and in case of the notification to the authority within 72 hours of first becoming aware of the breach).

A processor must notify any data breach to the controller without undue delay. The notification must include a description of the nature of the personal data breach including the categories and number of data subjects concerned, the name and contact details of the data protection officer or relevant point of contact, the likely consequences of the breach and the measures taken to address the breach, including attempts to mitigate possible adverse effects.

The EDPB (European Data Protection Board) has issued guidelines on the data breach notification, detailing requirements for data breach notifications (Guidelines 01/2021 on Examples regarding Data Breach Notification).

 

The following restrictions apply to the international transfer of personal data / information:

International data transfers (i.e. jurisdictions outside the European Economic Area (“EEA”)) can only take place if the transfer is subject to an “Adequacy Decision” or the recipient has implemented certain safeguards required by the GDPR.

The EU Commission has issued decisions concerning an adequate level of protection on the basis of Article 45 para 3 GDPR for the following countries: Andorra; Argentina; Canada; Faroe Islands; Guernsey; Isle of Man; Israel; Japan; Jersey; New Zealand; Switzerland; and Uruguay.

For a data transfer to all other countries the controller is obliged to ensure compliance for international data transfers:

  • - The transfer may be based on the consent of the relevant data subject.
  • - The transfer may be based on Standard Contractual Clauses (“SCCs”). The SCCs, drafted by the EU Commission, may be adopted by controllers and processers. SCCs are available for transfers among controllers, and for transfers between a controller (as exporter) and a processor (as importer).
  • - The transfer may be based on contracts agreed between the data exporter and data importer provided that they meet the protection standards outlined in the GDPR. Additionally, prior approval by the relevant data protection authority is key.
  • - The transfer may be based on Binding Corporate Rules (“BCRs”), in particular within a group of entities. For BCRs prior approval by the relevant data protection authority is needed. Most importantly, the BCRs need to include a mechanism to ensure they are legally binding and enforced by every member in the group of entities.

 

Do the data protection laws in this jurisdiction have “extra-territorial effect” (i.e. do they apply to organisations outside this jurisdiction)?

With regard to its geographic scope, the GDPR combines the principles of establishment, market place and territoriality.

Pursuant to the principle of establishment, the GDPR is applicable for processing activities carried out in the context of the activities of an establishment of a controller or a processor in the EU, regardless of whether the processing itself takes place in the EU.

Pursuant to the principle of the market place, the GDPR is applicable for the processing of personal data of data subjects situated in the EU by a controller or processor who is not situated in the EU, where the processing activities are related to (i) the offering of goods or services to such data subjects situated in the EU, irrespective of whether a payment of the data subject is required; or (ii) the monitoring of their behaviour as far as their behaviour takes place within the EU (principle of the territoriality).

 

The following rules specifically deal with marketing:

Yes. From the data protection perspective, the GDPR is directly applicable.

From the perspective of sending commercial communications, different rules apply to mailed advertisements (no specific regulation), advertisements conducted via telephone (consent is required for automated calling and for calling numbers on the “do not call” list), and via electronic messages (consent for non-customers, previous and subsequent opt-out possibility for customers).

Finally, there are also rules regarding the marketing practice generally, which address protection of consumers and specific areas of advertising (alcohol, tobacco, medicines, etc.).

 

Do different rules apply to business-to-business and business-to-consumer marketing?

Yes, but the only difference is that in the case of B2B marketing, personal data is not in some cases processed (therefore, the GDPR will not apply) and that some advertisements may only be communicated to professionals in the relevant field (tobacco, electronic cigarettes, infant formulas).

 

The following rules specially deal with electronic marketing (for example, by email, text message, WhatsApp message, online ads etc):

The sending of electronic mail or SMS for purposes of direct marketing requires the recipient’s prior consent.

Such prior consent is not required if:

  • contact details for the communication were obtained in the context of a sale or a service to the recipient;
  • the communication is transmitted for the purpose of direct marketing of similar products or services of the sender; and
  • at the time the electronic contact information was collected and furthermore on the occasion of each contact, the recipient has been given the opportunity to object, free of charge and in an easy manner, to such use of their electronic contact details.

 

The following rules specifically deal with cookies:

The national legislation transposes the ePrivacy directive. Pursuant to Article 5 of the ePrivacy directive, the storage of cookies (or other data) on an end user’s device requires prior consent.

Article 5 of the ePrivacy Directive distinguishes between:

  1. cookies serving the sole purpose of carrying out the transmission of a communication via an electronic communications network or necessary to provide a service requested by the subscriber or user, which do not require the consent of the user, and
  2. any other cookies, which require the consent of the user.

Under EU law established by the CJEU (Planet49, C-673/17), consent to the use of cookies containing personal data as described has to be explicit opt-in consent. Currently, there is national deviation – it is possible to place cookies which require opt-in consent under the ePrivacy directive just with the opt-out consent. But this legislative loophole will probably be fixed by the end of 2021.

 

The consequences of non compliance with data protections laws (including marketing laws) are:

Fines that may be imposed for violation of the data processing legislation are stipulated in the GDPR. The maximum penalty is the higher of EUR 20 million or 4% of worldwide turnover (Article 83 GDPR).

In case rules regulating the marketing are breached, a fine up to CZK 5 million may be imposed.

In case rules regulating sending of commercial communications are breached, a fine up to CZK 10 million may be imposed.

 

In broad terms, multinational organisations should be aware of the following key factors if they process personal data / information from individuals within this jurisdiction, without being located there:

No, the Czech law is largely harmonized with the European legislation so there are no specific national requirements that need to be mentioned.

 

Multinational organisations should be aware of the following upcoming data protection developments:

Yes, as was mentioned above, by the end of 2021, the legislative loophole in the regulation of cookies would be fixed and opt-in consent would be required in some cases (in line with the ePrivacy directive).

 

 

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Nulícek Michal
Rowan Legal
Czech Republic


Josef Donát
Rowan Legal
Czech Republic