Spain fined €15m for not complying with data protection legislation

by Lorraine Williamson
data protection

MADRID – The European Union has imposed a fine of €15million on Spain because the Spanish government has not amended national legislation in time in accordance with European directives on data protection. A fine that will cost Spain nearly €90,000 every day. 

Postponement of data protection legislation costs Spain

Spain has not done enough when it comes to protecting personal data. That is the conclusion of the Court of Justice of the European Union. The Spanish news site wrote at the end of February about the statement of the Justice Department that “Spain has been sentenced to pay a penalty of €15million and a fine of €89,548.20 per day. This is because Spain has not yet changed the policy or the relevant has not yet communicated guidelines”.

Spain has been aware of European directives for years  

In concrete termsthis concerns the policy on the protection of personal data in the context of the prevention and detection of criminal offenses. Moreover, this European legislation was already known about years ago but Spain had not yet introduced. Furthermore, as the Spanish government made this commitment in March 2019, it should have been implemented by March 2020. 

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EU proceeds to sanctions for Spain 

However, Spain is months behind with the obligation to comply with European data protection directives.  And secondly, to implement them in national law. However, according to the Court of Justice, Spain has had sufficient opportunities and time and is therefore proceeding with sanctions.

Data protection bill passed

Spain does not deny that adapting the guidelines has resulted in delaysHowever, setting severe sanctions prompted immediate action.  As such, on February 11, the government passed a bill in the Congress of Deputies.  Consequently the ‘bill on the protection of personal data processed for the purposes of preventing, detecting, investigating and prosecuting criminal offenses and executing sanctions’ was presented.

This law is being dealt with urgently. However, the Spanish governemtn will still have to pay the €15million fine and most likely some daily fines. This because the government did not turn in its homework on time. 


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