Turkey: About The Turkish Law On Protection Of Personal Data

Last Updated: 23 December 2016
Article by Ali Yurtsever and Efe Can Akıncı
  1. OVERVIEW

The Law on the Protection of Personal Data numbered 6698 published at the Legislative Journal dated April 7, 2016 and No. 29677 (the Law) has come into force at the date of its publication (Validation of Articles 8, 9, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 was postponed for 6 months after the publication date and such articles have since entered into force as of October 7, 2016).

This Law sets forth certain new liabilities for the data supervisors who process the received personal data, and also, according to Article 31 Sub article 3 of the Law, data supervisors are required to make sure that the personal data that was processed prior to the publication of this Law complies with the provisions of this Law within 2 years from the date of publication (and therefore, until April 7, 2018).  

  1. DEFINITION OF PERSONAL DATA

In order to review the Law of Protection of the Personal Data No. 6698, terminology used for personal data shall be inspected. Article 2 of the Law defines the personal data as "Any kind of information that belongs to a natural person (consumer, client, agency owner, company partner, employee, etc.)  whose identity is determined or may be determined". In this respect the below listed examples of data may be deemed as personal data:

  • ID Number
  • ID and Passport info
  • Residency/Contact info (phone number, address, e-mail address)
  • Image/ voice recording/photograph
  • Credit card info/ Bank account number
  • Info required for visa applications

Additionally, as per Article 6, race, ethnicity, political view, philosophical belief, religion, sect or other beliefs, dress and appearance, association and foundation memberships, health condition, sexual life, info regarding the criminal sentences and security measures, criminal records, biometric and genetic information of an individual shall also be considered as 'private personal data'.

According to Article 4, personal data may only be processed if it is stored in compliance with the law and the good faith principle, and is stored correctly and up to date, with a motive of clear, legal and specific purposes, relating to the purpose of data processing, in a limited and proportional manner and for limited duration.

Whereas Articles 5 and 6 of the Law restricts the processing of personal data and private personal data without the express consent of the data provider.

Furthermore, Articles 8 and 9 of the Law restricts the transfer of personal data to third parties and/or to abroad (to jurisdictions out of Turkey) without the express consent of the data provider.

  1. DATA SUPERVISORS AND THEIR LIABILITIES

According to the Law, persons and/or entities that store and designates the purpose and facilities of processing of personal data shall be considered as "data supervisors" and legal or natural persons that processes the data in the name of the data supervisor by the authority of the data supervisor shall be deemed as "data processors".

Therefore natural and/or legal persons that gather, keep, process and preserve such data belonging to their customers and/or clients and/or other people in their own databases shall all be considered as "data supervisors".

Liabilities of the data supervisors regarding the data security are set forth in sub article 1 of Article 12 of the Law. Accordingly, data supervisors are obliged to prevent the illegal processing of and unauthorized access to personal data and they need to take all necessary technical and administrative measures to provide the proper security level of the kept data.

In addition to the above, Article 10 of the Law sets forth that data supervisors shall be liable to provide the relative person (data provider) the following information:

  • Title of the Data Supervisor (if exists identity and address information of the data keeper)
  • Purpose of Data Processing
  • To whom and with what purpose the data can be transferred to
  • Legal reason and method of the data gathering
  • Other liabilities regarding the rights of individuals mentioned in the Article 11

As it is mentioned above and in addition to the liabilities set forth at Article 10 of the Law, the data supervisors are also obliged to fulfil the liabilities set forth in Article 11 of the Law. Pursuant to Article 11, relevant persons who submit their personal data to data supervisors shall have the right to submit a request to the data supervisors in order to; "get information whether their data is processed or not, demand information if its processed, find out the purpose of the data process and whether the information given is used accordingly to its purpose by applying to data keepers, learn about the third persons who nationally/internationally receives the data, demand correction if the processed information is wrong or missing, request the extinguishment/deletion or removal of the data if it actualizes the conditions, demanding some operations to be notified to third person who will receive the information, object if the processed information created results against himself/herself and claim damages in case of illegal data processing".

  1. DATA SUPERVISORS REGISTRY

In addition to the liabilities of the data supervisors, Article 16 also sets forth that for every natural or legal person that is considered as a data supervisor shall be required to register to the Data Supervisors Registry which shall be established by the Institution of  Personal Data Protection Presidency.

Article 18  sub article 'c' sets forth an administrative fine between TRL 20,000 and TRL 1,000,000 for the data supervisors that do not comply with this registration requirement in due time.

However, since the aforementioned registry is not yet established (as of December 22, 2016 when this information note is drafted), such registration obligation is not currently in force for data supervisors. An additional regulation concerning this matter is expected to be issued within the following months and procedures and principles regarding the registration are expected to be defined therein.

  1. BREACH OF LIABILITIES AND SANCTIONS

According to Article 17 of the Law, Articles between 135 and 140 of the Turkish Criminal Code No. 5237 shall continue to be applied for crimes regarding personal data (crimes of unauthorized recording of personal data, illegal disclosing or acquisition of personal data and   failure to dispose of the personal data).

Article 7 sets forth that data supervisors who fail to delete, dispose or make the personal data anonymous after the cause of data processing disappears and/or the data provider demands for such actions, shall be subject to legal proceedings as per Article 138 of Law No 5237.

In addition to the related Articles of Turkish Criminal Code, data supervisors who are found to be in breach of the relevant liabilities set forth in the Law shall also be subject to administrative fines between TRL 5,000 and TRL 1,000,000.

The Personal Data Protection Board is authorized to supervise the liabilities and administer the sanctions set forth by the Law.

  1. BOARD OF PERSONAL DATA PROTECTION AND ITS DUTIES

Pursuant to Articles 19 and 20 of the Law, an Institution of Personal Data Protection shall be established which shall be directly attached to the Prime Minister's Office.

This Institution, of which it's duties are designated by the Law and which is established in conformity with the European Councils Agreement of Protection of Individuals in the Course of Automatic Data Processing numbered 108 and EU's Data Protection Directive numbered 95/45/EC, shall be an autonomous institutions with regards to its financial and administrative actions. This Institution shall have two main bodies as the 'Board' and 'Presidency' of the Personal Data Protection Institution.

Duties of the Board are as noted below:

  • Keeping the Registry of Data Keepers
  • Applying the administrative sanctions mentioned in the law numbered 6698
  • Defining the necessary precautions for processing the Private Personal Data
  • Making the decisions for the complaints about the breach of rights regarding the personal data protection
  • Examining the legality of the processing of the personal data upon a complaint or by itself and take the required measures if necessary
  • Rulemaking about the duties of the Board and the running of the institution
  1. NOTEWORTHY ISSUES TO BE CONSIDERED BY THE LIABLE PARTIES

As noted above, personal data to be processed and saved after October 7, 2016 shall be processed and kept in accordance with the provisions of this Law.

Furthermore, the data that was obtained, saved and processed before the publication date of the Law, April 7, 2016, shall comply with the provisions of this Law by no later than April 7, .2018.

It should also be noted that that all such liabilities within the scope of this Law should be considered together with the liabilities set forth by the Law of E-Commerce No. 6563 and mutual solutions must be produced to satisfy the liabilities of both such laws. Although the liabilities of the both laws are similar in certain aspects, other sections of the laws such as the competent authorities, official permits and audits differ from each other. Due to such differences between the two laws, one single act may cause two different legal breaches and may be sanctioned separately.

To avoid such possible violations and the implementations of sanctions, those who are deemed as data supervisors should take certain precautions for the purposes. In this respect, it may be ideal for the data supervisors to sign a new and updated Protection of Personal Data Agreement (or a Confidentiality Agreement) with their data providers (clients, customers, members etc.) which complies with the new rights and obligations of the Law.

Data supervisors should also consider to draft and send a notice to their old data providers who provided their personal data before October 7, 2016, informing them on the new rights and obligations implemented with the new Law (this notification should also inform the data providers about their right to demand the deletion or anonymization of their data).

Furthermore, it may also be recommended for data supervisors to inform and educate their relevant personnel and executives regarding these new rights and obligations and obtain additional letters of commitments along with their current or to be executed employment contracts to minimize future the risk of violations.

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.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
 
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions