Turkey: Regulation on Erasure, Destruction or Anonymization of Personal Data: First Prong of the Secondary Legislation

I. Introduction

The Regulation on Erasure, Destruction or Anonymization of Personal Data ("Regulation") is published on the Official Gazette of October 28, 2017 and will enter into force as of January 1, 2018. Regulation has been issued based on Article 7 of the Law No. 6698 on Protection of Personal Data ("DPL"). The article stated that personal data shall be erased, destroyed or anonymized by the data controller ex officio or upon the demand of the data subject, in the event that the reasons for which it was processed are no longer valid but left the principles and procedures regarding erasure, destruction and anonymization of personal data to be determined by a regulation. The regulation was issued later then contemplated by the DPL, as the DPL provided that all regulations will be put into force by the Personal Data Protection Authority ("Authority") within a year as of publication of the law (i.e. until April 7, 2017).

Regulation applies to data controllers which, by way of repeating the DPL, are defined as real persons or legal entities which set the objectives and means of processing personal data and are in charge of establishing and managing the data filing system (Article 4/1-I of the Regulation).

Regulation is essentially a brief legal text mainly consisting of two provisions on personal data storage and demolition policy (Section II, Articles 5 and 6 of the Regulation); and six provisions on the erasure, destruction and anonymization of personal data (Section III, Article 7-12 of the Regulation).

II. Personal Data Storage and Demolition Policy

Data controllers that are required to register with the data controller's registry per DPL are obliged to prepare a personal data storage and demolition policy in accordance with their personal data inventory (Article 5/1 of the Regulation). It should be noted that DPL requires all data controllers to register with the relevant registry as a principle. That said the Authority is entitled to provide an exemption from this obligation based on objective criteria to be determined by the Personal Data Protection Board ("Board"), such as the nature and the number of the processed data, whether or not data processing is required by law or whether or not data will be transferred to third parties (Article 16/2 of DPL). Therefore, an exemption from the obligation to register means an exemption from the obligation to prepare a storage and demolition policy.

The Regulation also makes clear that neither preparing a personal data storage and demolition policy nor being exempt from preparing such policy, affects data controllers' obligation to comply with the principles, requirements and obligations set forth in the regulation (Article 5/2 & 5/3 of the Regulation).

According to Article 6 of Regulation, a personal data storage and demolition policy shall at least include the following:

  1. Purpose of preparing the personal data storage and demolition policy,
  2. Filing mediums regulated under the personal data storage and demolition policy,
  3. Definitions of legal and technical terms mentioned in the personal data storage and demolition policy,
  4. Explanations regarding legal, technical or other reasons that require storage or demolition of personal data,
  5. Technical and administrative measures taken in order to store personal data safely, and prevent personal data from being illegally processed and accessed,
  6. Technical and administrative measures taken in order to demolish personal data in compliance with the law,
  7. Titles, departments and job descriptions of those taking part in the personal data storage and demolition processes,
  8. Table displaying the personal data storage and demolition periods,
  9. Time periods of periodic demolitions.
  10. Changes made in the existing personal data storage and demolition policy.

III. Erasure, Destruction and Anonymization of Personal Data

In terms of data controllers' erasure, destruction and anonymization responsibilities, Regulation refers to conditions, principles and procedures set forth in DPL, other related legislation and the relevant data controller's own policy on the matter and states that data controllers are obliged to comply with the foregoing.

(i) General

Data controllers are obliged to register and keep records of all transactions relating to erasure, destruction and anonymization of personal data at least for three (3) years (Article 7/3 of the Regulation). Moreover, data controllers are also required to disclose the methods they apply in relation to these processes in their policies and procedures (Article 7/4 of the Regulation). The method can be chosen by the data controller freely, in cases of ex officio erasure, destruction or anonymization of personal data, if Board did not decide otherwise on the matter. If erasure, destruction or anonymization is conducted upon request of the data subject, data controller should explain the reason behind choosing the relevant method as well (Article 7/5 of the Regulation).

(ii) Erasure

Erasure of personal data means the operation of rendering the relevant personal data inaccessible and non-reusable in any way for the relevant users (Article 8/1 of the Regulation). Relevant users are those who process personal data in accordance with the authority and the instructions given by the data controller or within data controller's organization except persons or units responsible for technical storage, protection and backing up of data (Article 4/1-b of the Regulation).

(iii) Destruction

Destruction of personal data means the operation of rendering the relevant personal data inaccessible, irrecoverable and non-reusable in any way for everyone (Article 9/1 of the Regulation). Therefore, while erasure only affects the relevant data controller and relevant users thereof, in cases of destruction everyone is affected by the process and the relevant data becomes unavailable for use by everyone.

(iv) Anonymization

Anonymization of personal data is rendering personal data anonymous in such a way that it cannot be related to an identified or identifiable real person in any way even through matching that to another data (Article 10/1). According to Regulation, personal data is anonymous, if it cannot be related to an identified or identifiable real person by the data controller, recipient or recipient groups through techniques appropriate in terms of the filing medium and the relevant area of activity such as recovery and matching the data with other data (Article 10/2 of the Regulation).

(v) Time Periods

In terms of data controllers which have personal data storage and demolition policies, personal data shall be erased, destructed or anonymized during the first periodic demolition operation following the date on which such obligation arises (Article 11/1 of the Regulation). The data controllers are free to determine demolition periods. However, this time period may not exceed six (6) months. If the data controller does not have such policy, the obligation should be fulfilled within three (3) months of the date on which the obligation arises. These time limits were determined in the draft of Regulation as ninety (90) days and thirty (30) days, respectively. Board is authorized to shorten this time periods if there may be irrevocable damages or damages that are hard or impossible to recover and there is an obvious violation of laws.

(vi) Data Subject' Request

In terms of data subjects' demands for erasure and destruction, Regulation requires data controllers to decide within thirty (30) days and inform the data subjects regardless of the outcome of their requests (Article 12 of the Regulation). Additionally, if personal data is transferred to third parties, data controllers are also obliged to inform third parties of the requests and ensure third parties' compliance with data subjects' request. If all of the conditions for personal data processing are not eliminated, data controller is entitled to reject a request by explaining its reasons and the data subject should be notified of the rejection within 30 days at the latest in writing or in the electronic environment.

IV. Conclusion

Regulation certainly brings more specific and clear instructions and obligations regarding erasure, destruction and anonymization of personal data considering the general frame provided by the DPL. However, one might still argue that Regulation took it too far in terms of providing specific restrictions and obligations to the point where data controllers are left with a narrow range of flexibility to determine their own procedures and measures particular to their needs. Considering the speed of technological developments and change in everyday business activities in connection with these developments, adopting an approach based on principles rather than determination of specific limitations applicable all data controllers regardless of the nature of their activities and sector might be of importance for the effective enforcement of the Regulation.

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
 
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 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
Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:
  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.
  • Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.
    If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here
    If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here

    Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

    Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

    Use of www.mondaq.com

    You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). 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 & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.

    Disclaimer

    Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd 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 or performance of information available from this server.

    The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.

    Registration

    Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

    • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
    • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
    • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

    Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

    Information Collection and Use

    We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

    We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

    Mondaq News Alerts

    In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

    Cookies

    A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

    Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

    Log Files

    We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

    Links

    This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

    Surveys & Contests

    From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

    Mail-A-Friend

    If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

    Emails

    From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

    *** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .

    Security

    This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

    Correcting/Updating Personal Information

    If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

    Notification of Changes

    If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

    How to contact Mondaq

    You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

    If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.

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