Bulgaria: GDPR Basics Part 6: Impact On Personal Data Processors

Last Updated: 26 January 2018
Article by Dragomir Stefanov

Before the GDPR enters into force on 25 May 2018, companies processing personal data will have to reassess their approach to personal data processing. Under the current state of the law, a company acting as a personal data processor that has been found liable for unlawful personal data processing would be liable for a breach of contract. With the GDPR in place, this would no longer be the case, as it will impose legal obligations directly on such data processors. Fines for noncompliance may reach up to 4% of the annual turnover for the preceding year or EUR 20 million, whichever is higher.

What is a processor?

Processor is defined as a natural or legal person, public authority, agency or other body which processes personal data on behalf of the controller. The most common examples of processors are the outsourced service providers (accounting, payroll, marketing, receivables collection, cloud servers etc.). The most important characteristic of a processor is that it processes personal data based on a contract with another entity, thus the processor may not independently determine the purposes and means of the processing of such data.

A fine line between data controller and data processor may exist in the cases of online payment service providers, market research companies etc.

In practice, a company may simultaneously act as a data controller and a processor. For example, a debt collection agency acts as a data controller when processing the personal data of its employees. That same company would normally be considered as a processor with respect to the personal data of its clients' debtors.

As per Article 28, par. 10 of the GDPR if a processor infringes the Regulation by determining the purposes and means of processing (i.e. by processing the data in a manner or for purposes other than as instructed by the controller), the processor shall be considered to be a controller in respect of that processing.

This practically means that organisations acting as data processors must be cautious not to act beyond their clients' instructions. Failure to comply with such instructions would expose them to significant compliance risks as the higher standards for data controllers would apply to them.

What is new for processors under in the GDPR?

The most radical regulatory change coming with the GDPR is that it imposes certain legal obligations directly on processors, ultimately increasing the risks and costs of such personal data processing. These obligations include:

  • accountability: every processor must keep records of the processing activities carried on behalf of the controller;
  • data security: processors must ensure the security of the personal data by implementing appropriate technical and organisational measures (such as data encryption, regular security assessments etc.);
  • cooperation with the Data Protection Authority (DPA): processors will be obliged to cooperate, on request, with the DPA in the performance of its tasks;
  • data breach notification: each processor must notify the controller without undue delay after becoming aware of a personal data breach;
  • appointment of data protection officer: as controllers, processors would be required to appoint data protection officers under certain circumstances (more information on data protection officers will soon follow in a separate article);
  •  liability: in addition to the exposure to administrative fines, the GDPR explicitly states that data subjects may bring claims for damages directly against processors. A processor would be held liable only where it has not complied with its obligations stemming from the GDPR or where it has acted outside or contrary to lawful instructions of the controller.

Data processing clauses

The new legal context, in which controllers and processors will operate, naturally raises questions about the adequacy of the existing data processing contracts. Directive 95/46/EC stipulates that data controllers must appoint processors based on a written agreement, which binds the processor to ensure the security of the personal data processed and to act only in accordance with the controller's instructions.

The GDPR broadens the list of mandatory clauses. Data processing agreements must stipulate, among others, that the processor shall:

  • ensure that persons authorised to process the personal data have committed themselves to confidentiality or are under an appropriate statutory obligation of confidentiality;
  • respect the conditions for engaging another processor – the processor may not engage another processor without prior specific or general written authorisation of the controller;
  • assist the data controller to comply with certain GDPR requirements such as the obligations to report data breaches to the DPA and the data subjects and to carry out privacy impact assessments and prior consultations;
  • assist the controller, by appropriate technological and organisational measures, insofar as possible, for the fulfillment of its obligations with respect to the data subjects' rights, e.g. the right to be informed, the right to erasure, the right to object to processing etc.;
  • at the choice of the controller, delete or return all the personal data to the controller after the end of the provision of services relating to processing;
  • make available to the controller any information necessary to demonstrate compliance with the agreement and allow the controller to conduct compliance audits;
  • immediately inform the controller if, in its opinion, an instruction infringes the GDPR or other European Union or Member State data protection legislation – an appropriate preventive measure for the processor is to insert in the contract a provision allowing it to suspend any data processing until the compliance issue has been resolved by the parties.

Accordingly, it is in the best interest of both controllers and processors to review and renegotiate (where necessary) their existing data processing agreements before May 2018.

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
Hristov & Partners
 
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
Hristov & Partners
Related Articles
 
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