Spain Fined For Breaching Data Protection Laws

Treasury can keep money in abandoned Spanish bank accounts. Image: Wikimedia

SPAIN fined €15 million for breaching European data protection laws

Spain has been handed a €15 million fine by the European Commission (EC) for failing to incorporate the data protection directive into law by two separate deadlines, one in May 2018 and the other in March 2019. In addition, the EC has decreed that the government will be forced to pay €89,000 for each additional day the Spanish law isn’t amended to reflect the European directive on the protection of personal data.

The Spanish Government argued that “very exceptional institutional circumstances” made it impossible to write the new rules into law as at the time, they were only dealing with day-to-day matters as they waited for the new government to be formed. However, the EC didn’t accept the excuse and insisted that the heavy daily sanctions reflect “the seriousness and duration of the infringement.”

The EC claimed that the changes, which impact the protection of personal data processed by police during crime investigations, still hadn’t been completed by May 2020 when the court finished hearing evidence.

“By today’s [Thursday, February 25] judgement, the court declares that Spain has failed to fulfil its obligations,” the court stated.

Back in 2019, Greece was also sanctioned by the Court of Justice for failure to transpose the law enforcement data protection directive into local law. At the time, the EC requested that the court impose a fine of €5,287 per day between the date of the deadline and the date the country complied with the law.


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Written by

Sarah Keane

Former teacher and health services manager with a Degree in English, Sarah moved to Spain from Southern Ireland with her husband, who runs his own car rental business, in 2019. She is now enjoying a completely different pace and quality of life on the Costa Blanca South, with wonderful Spanish and expat friends in Cabo Roig. Sarah began working with Euro Weekly News in 2020 and loves nothing more than bringing all the latest national and international news to her local community.