The Regulation on the Working Procedure and Principles of the Personal Data Protection Board ("Regulation") is published in the Official Gazette dated 16 November 2017 and entered into force immediately.

The purpose of the Regulation is to determine the working principles, obligations, rights of the Personal Data Protection Board ("Board") and to ensure compliance with the Law No. 6698 on the Protection of Personal Data ("Law").

Working Principles and Procedures of the Board

1. Formation of the Personal Data Protection Board

The Board is the decision-making body of the Personal Data Protection Authority ("Authority") and is comprised of nine members, one of whom being the President of the Authority. Five members of the Board shall be elected by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, two members shall be elected by the President of Turkey and two members shall be elected by the Council of Ministers.

Article 7 of the Regulation brings several additional principles regarding the duties and obligations of the Board which are mainly regulated under the Law. These additional duties and obligations of the Board are:

  • to determine procedures and principles on deleting, destructing and anonymizing personal data,
  • to establish certification, accreditation, education and guidance principles as well as best practices for protecting, securing and processing personal data,
  • to establish and oversee domestic and overseas projects on the protection of personal data,
  • to provide education to relevant institutions and raise public awareness regarding the protection of personal data.

2. Working Principles of the Board

The Regulation continues to repeat the provisions of the Law regarding the working principles of the Board. Several additional provisions are introduced concerning the confidentiality of the decisions and the confidentiality obligations of the Board members.

Pursuant to Article 11 of the Regulation, the meetings of the Board are confidential unless decided otherwise. However, parties, representatives and other third parties may be called to the meetings by the President of the Authority, if necessary. Decisions, on the other hand, shall be taken only in the absence of parties not directly related with the decision. The decisions shall be announced to public when deemed necessary by the Board.

Pursuant to Article 17 of the Regulation, the members of the Board, and other related parties called to the meeting by the President of the Authority all have an obligation of confidentiality. They shall not disclose the secrets belonging to related persons and other third parties to no one other than legally authorized bodies, nor shall they use such secrets for their own benefits. This obligation will carry on staying in effect even after the end of their term at the Board.

3. Essentials of the Board Decisions

The essentials of the Board decisions are set forth in Article 13 of the Regulation under two groups according to their types. Decisions based on a complaint or ex officio investigation needs to contain:

  • names of the adjudicating Board members,
  • names of the researchers and analysts,
  • names, titles and addresses of the relevant parties,
  • summary of the claims and statements made by the relevant parties,
  • evaluations regarding these claims and statements,
  • legal basis for the decision,
  • conclusion, and
  • dissenting opinions, if any.

Decisions other than the ones based on a complaint or ex officio investigation need only to contain (i) names of the adjudicating Board members, (ii) subject of the decision and its legal basis, (iii) conclusion and (iv) dissenting opinions, if any.

If needed, a specialized commission or a sub-committee comprised of staff members of the Authority can be established by the Board. The specialized commission or sub-committee shall submit a more detailed and profound research by previewing the main arguments which shall be discussed and decided by the Board.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.