Czech lower house modifies privacy law

The draft law would make some local changes to the EU’s GDPR rules

The Czech Chamber of Deputies has approved modifications to the rules on privacy, which follow from the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The GDPR was implemented across the EU on May 25, 2018. It covers all individuals within the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA). It also addresses the export of personal data outside the EU and EEA areas.

Internet users may be aware of it from many websites now asking permission to place tracking codes or cookies on a computer when a website is used, but the law is far more extensive.

The new Czech draft law introduces admissible exceptions to the European rules. The maximum penalty for violating the law remains at Kč 10 million, while the top fine for small municipalities would be reduced to Kč 15,000.

The draft law also modifies exceptions for media or for scientific, research and statistical purposes. Personal data due to these exceptions can be processed if it serves in a reasonable way for journalistic purposes or for academic, artistic or literary purposes.

Some exceptions concern the minimization of information requirements for the media.
Journalists will not have to ask every participant at a rally to agree to the publication of their image. Even the use of hidden cameras should be allowed in justified cases.

Under the new rules, everyone will be able to agree to the processing of their personal data. In some cases, e-shop operators will need to ask permission to process data at the end of a transaction, even if the same e-shop got consent previously.

The lower house of Parliament declined to lower the proposed age limit to under 15, after which children could fully use social networks.

Concerning the right to erase or to correct personal data, the draft law would proceed as it is now under the existing media law. People have the right to object to the disclosure of personal data if they can demonstrate why the protection of their privacy outweighs the value of in disclosure of the data.

The Chamber of Deputies did agree that the Office for Personal Data Protection (OÚÚÚ) would be the administrative appeal body for cases where authorities do not comply with requests under the Act on Free Access to Information.

The draft law will now go to the Senate, and it is is also approved there it will become law when signed by the president.

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