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The world is taking data privacy seriously, and every day more and more countries are enacting data protection legislations to ensure the protection of personal data. Turkey was one of the first countries to start the trend of legislating data protection. Turkey drafted legislation covering personal data protection on April 07, 2016, called “Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 (LPPD).” This law is based on the European Union Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC and aims to give data subjects’ control over their personal data.
The following definitions mentioned under Article 3 of the LPPD are crucial to understanding the law:
Personal Data Protection Board
A natural person, whose personal data is processed
President of the Personal Data Protection Authority
Personal Data Protection Authority
Information relating to an identifiable or identified natural person
Informed, specific, and freely given consent
A natural or legal person who is authorized by the data controller to process personal data on his behalf
Making personal data impossible to be linked with an identifiable natural person, even through matching them with other data
A natural or legal person who is responsible for establishing and managing the data registry system, and determines the purpose and means of processing personal data
The registry system where the personal data is structurally registered into structurally according to a predefined criteria
Any operation performed on personal data, which includes the collection, storage, recording, retention, alteration, disclosure, re-organization, transferring, making retrievable, taking over, classification or preventing the use thereof, partially or fully through automated means or provided that the process is a part of any data registry system, through non-automatic means
Article 4 of LPPD states that “Personal data may only be processed in compliance with the procedures and principles set forth in this Law and other laws.” Other laws that also parallelly regulate personal data processing in Turkey are the European Union Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC and the Automatic Processing of Personal Data No. 108. Key principles required for the processing of personal data are:
LAWFULNESS AND CONFORMITY WITH RULES OF BONA FIDES
ACCURATE AND WHERE NECESSARY KEPT UP-TO-DATE
PROCESSED FOR SPECIFIED, EXPLICIT, AND LEGITIMATE PURPOSES
RELEVANT, LIMITED, AND PROPORTIONATE TO THE PURPOSES FOR WHICH THEY ARE PROCESSED
RETAINED FOR THE PERIOD OF TIME DETERMINED BY THE RELEVANT LEGISLATION OR THE PERIOD DEEMED NECESSARY FOR THE PURPOSE OF THE PROCESSING
Although under Article 5(1) of LPPD, the data subject's explicit consent is mandatory for processing personal data, personal data processing may also be allowed when one of the following conditions are established:
Under Article 11 of LPPD, the law grants rights to data subjects that they can exercise under this law. These rights are as follows:
Under Article 16 of LPPD, natural persons or legal persons who process personal data must enroll in the Data Registry of Controllers before taking any steps to process personal data. Application for enrolling must be made with a notification containing the following essentials:
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Organizations that process and transfer personal data can make compliance with the LPPD a complex task. Compliance can be a very human intensive process and a costly affair for businesses operating in the Turkish Markets or abroad while still risking the threat of facing liabilities for non-compliance.
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The LPPD went into effect on April 7, 2016.
The right to data processing and the right to data portability are not applicable under the LPPD.
The LPPD is also known as Kişisel Verileri Koruma Kanunu (KVKK).
The LPPD requires controllers to register to the VERBIS, which is the data registry system in Turkey.
Administrative fines are increased each year based on the re-evaluation schedules published in the Official Gazette with Tax Procedural Law Communiques.
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