AEPD - PS/00054/2021

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AEPD - PS/00054/2021
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Authority: AEPD (Spain)
Jurisdiction: Spain
Relevant Law: Article 32(1) GDPR
Type: Complaint
Outcome: Upheld
Decided:
Published: 05.04.2021
Fine: 3000 EUR
Parties: Electrotecnia Bastida SL
National Case Number/Name: PS/00054/2021
European Case Law Identifier: n/a
Appeal: n/a
Original Language(s): Spanish
Original Source: AEPD decision (in ES)
Initial Contributor: n/a

The Spanish DPA (AEPD) fined a controller €3000 for the infringement of Article 32(1) GDPR, due to a data breach that was caused by the abandonment of several envelopes containing confidential medical data in a field.

English Summary[edit | edit source]

Facts[edit | edit source]

The Spanish DPA (AEPD) received a report from the Spanish National Guard saying that they had found several envelopes containing confidential medical data abandoned in a field.

The AEPD launched an investigation and discovered that the responsible for this was a company called Electrotecnia Bastida SL, and that the data corresponded to 29 of their employees. The envelopes, labelled "confidential", contained the names and surnames of the employees and two health reports about them. After their finding, the police contacted the administrator of the company in their address, who was not able to provide an explanation.

After receiving the report, the AEPD also tried to contact the company for an analysis of the case, measures to be taken and asking for documentation, without receiving any answer.

Dispute[edit | edit source]

Was there a breach of security that caused the unauthorized disclosure of personal data, thus leading to an infringement of Article 32(1) GDPR?

Holding[edit | edit source]

The AEPD concluded that there had been an unauthorized disclosure of personal data that caused a data breach. The AEPD therefore found that there had been a violation of Article 32(1) GDPR and fined Electrotecnia Bastida SL €3,000.

In order to establish the amount of the fine, the AEPD took into account the following factors:

  • The nature and severity of the infringement, given the sensitive nature of the data.
  • The fact that the processing was merely local.
  • The high number of people affected (29).
  • The lack of collaboration and the lack of adoption of measures by the company.
  • The absence of intention.
  • The fact that the processing was related to the company activities.
  • The small size of the company.

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English Machine Translation of the Decision[edit | edit source]

The decision below is a machine translation of the Spanish original. Please refer to the Spanish original for more details.

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     Procedure No.: PS / 00054/2021


               RESOLUTION OF SANCTIONING PROCEDURE

Of the procedure instructed by the Spanish Agency for Data Protection and based on
to the following


                                  BACKGROUND

FIRST: D. G. DE LA GUARDIA CIVIL - MAIN POST OF
*** LOCALIDAD. 1 (hereinafter, the claimant) on 08/07/2019 sent an official letter to
the Spanish Agency for Data Protection, in which a written document is attached for possible

violation of data protection regulations. The claim is directed against
ELECTROTECNIA BASTIDA, S.L. with CIF B96466461 (hereinafter, the claimed one).
The reasons on which the claim is based are that in an open field of the polygon
industrial area of the town is in a state of abandonment envelopes containing
confidential medical information, containing personal data

corresponding to workers of the claimed.

SECOND: In view of the facts denounced and the documents provided by
the claimant of which this Agency has become aware, the Subdirectorate
General of Data Inspection proceeded to carry out actions for the

clarification of the facts in question.

On 10/15/2019, the claim submitted for analysis was transferred to the defendant.
and communication to the complainant of the decision taken in this regard. Likewise,
required him to send within a month to the determined Agency
information:


       - Copy of the communications, of the adopted decision that has been sent to the
       claimant regarding the transfer of this claim, and accreditation that
       the claimant has received the communication of that decision.
       - Report on the causes that have motivated the incidence that has originated the

       claim.
       - Report on the measures adopted to prevent the occurrence of
       similar incidents.
       - Any other that you consider relevant.


The defendant has not responded to the request made by the Agency
Spanish Data Protection.

THIRD: On 06/08/2020, in accordance with article 65 of the LOPDGDD, the
Director of the Spanish Agency for Data Protection agreed to admit for processing the
claim filed by the claimant against the defendant.


FOURTH: On 02/12/2021, the Director of the Spanish Protection Agency
of Data agreed to initiate a sanctioning procedure for the claimed party, for the alleged
infringement of article 32.1 of the RGPD, typified in article 83.4.a) of the aforementioned RGPD.

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FIFTH: Notified the initiation agreement, the one claimed at the time of the present
resolution has not submitted a brief of allegations, so it is applicable

indicated in article 64 of Law 39/2015, of October 1, on the Procedure
Common Administrative of Public Administrations, which in its section f)
establishes that in case of not making allegations within the term provided on the
content of the initiation agreement, it may be considered a proposal for
resolution when it contains a precise statement about the responsibility
imputed, for which a Resolution is issued.


SIXTH: Of the actions carried out in this proceeding, there have been
accredited the following:

                                PROVEN FACTS


FIRST: On 08/07/2019 the G.C. of *** LOCALIDAD. 1 sent official letter to the AEPD,
in which it attaches a written document for possible violation of the regulations on the protection of
data for the claimed, motivated by the abandonment of medical documentation
confidentiality of its workers, in a wasteland of the industrial park of the
location.


SECOND: Report of the G.C. in which it is indicated that the patrol of the
post went to the industrial estate taking photographs of the place where
found the documents, collecting the same that were transferred to the
barracks; that the documents are 29 envelopes, two of them open, from the Clinic

*** CLÍNICA.1 (Management of medicine and prevention, SL) appearing in each of them
the name and surname of the workers of the complained party who request a "Exam
specific to health ”; examining one of the envelopes that was open and
inside there are two reports: "Specific health exam" and a second
two-page report of the clinic *** CLÍNICA.2 de *** LOCALIDAD.2 (Valencia); that

On 06/25/2019, the agent signing the report appeared at the address of the
claimed and identified the entity's administrator, who could not give an explanation
of the abandonment of the documentation of its workers in the field.
It is also recorded in the Report of the list of the 29 people affected
for the facts together with the date of the specific health examination.


THIRD: There is a photographic report, providing a general photograph of the
abandoned documentation, 29 envelopes; as well as a detailed photograph of one of the
envelopes containing the confidential letterhead.

                           FOUNDATIONS OF LAW


                                            I
       By virtue of the powers that article 58.2 of the RGPD recognizes to each
control authority, and as established in articles 47 and 48 of the LOPDGDD,
the Director of the Spanish Data Protection Agency is competent to initiate

and to solve this procedure.

                                           II
       Article 58 of the RGPD, Powers, states:

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       "two. Each supervisory authority shall have all of the following powers
corrective measures listed below:


       (…)
       b) punish any person responsible or in charge of the treatment with
       warning when the processing operations have infringed the
       provided in this Regulation;
       (…) "



       Article 5 of the RGPD establishes the principles that must govern the treatment
of personal data and mentions among them that of "integrity and confidentiality".


       The aforementioned article points out that:

       "one. The personal data will be:

       (…)
       f) treated in such a way as to guarantee adequate security of the

       personal data, including protection against unauthorized processing or
       illicit and against its loss, destruction or accidental damage, through the application
       appropriate technical or organizational measures ('integrity and
       confidentiality »)”.
       (…)


                                              III
       The denounced events materialize in the abandonment in a wasteland
of the industrial estate of the town of *** LOCALIDAD.1, documentation
containing confidential data of a personal nature enabling access to

third parties; data that correspond to workers of the claimed, violating the
regulations on data protection.

       Article 32 of the RGPD "Security of treatment", establishes that:

       "one. Taking into account the state of the art, the application costs, and the

nature, scope, context and purposes of the treatment, as well as risks of
variable probability and severity for people's rights and freedoms
physical, the person in charge and the person in charge of the treatment will apply technical measures and
appropriate organizational arrangements to ensure a level of security appropriate to the risk,
that in your case include, among others:


       a) pseudonymisation and encryption of personal data;
       b) the ability to guarantee confidentiality, integrity, availability and
       permanent resilience of treatment systems and services;
       c) the ability to restore availability and access to data

       personnel quickly in the event of a physical or technical incident;
       d) a process of regular verification, evaluation and assessment of effectiveness
       of the technical and organizational measures to guarantee the safety of the
       treatment.

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       2. When evaluating the adequacy of the security level, particularly the
take into account the risks presented by the data processing, in particular as

consequence of accidental or illegal destruction, loss or alteration of data
personal data transmitted, preserved or otherwise processed, or the communication or
unauthorized access to such data.

       3. Adherence to a code of conduct approved in accordance with article 40 or to a
certification mechanism approved under article 42 may serve as an element

to demonstrate compliance with the requirements established in section 1 of the
this article.

       4. The person in charge and the person in charge of the treatment will take measures to
ensure that any person acting under the authority of the controller or the

manager and have access to personal data can only process said data
following instructions of the person in charge, unless it is obliged to do so by virtue of the
Law of the Union or of the Member States ”.

       The violation of article 32 of the RGPD is typified in article
83.4.a) of the aforementioned RGPD in the following terms:


       "4. Violations of the following provisions will be sanctioned, in accordance with
with paragraph 2, with administrative fines of maximum EUR 10 000 000 or,
in the case of a company, an amount equivalent to a maximum of 2% of the
total annual global business volume of the previous financial year, opting for

the highest amount:

       a) the obligations of the controller and the processor pursuant to articles 8,
       11, 25 to 39, 42 and 43.
       (…) "


       For its part, the LOPDGDD in its article 73, for the purposes of prescription, qualifies
of "Violations considered serious":

       "Based on the provisions of article 83.4 of Regulation (EU) 2016/679
are considered serious and will prescribe after two years the infractions that suppose a

substantial violation of the articles mentioned therein and, in particular, the
following:

       (…)
       g) The breach, as a consequence of the lack of due diligence,

       of the technical and organizational measures that have been implemented in accordance with
       as required by article 32.1 of Regulation (EU) 2016/679 ”.
       (…) "

                                            IV

       The GDPR defines personal data security breaches as
“All those security violations that cause the destruction, loss or
accidental or illegal alteration of personal data transmitted, stored or processed
otherwise, or unauthorized communication or access to said data ”.

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       From the documentation provided to the file there are evident indications of
that the respondent has violated article 32 of the RGPD, when an incident of
security, as documents containing sensitive personal data are abandoned
of workers of the claimed, allowing access to them by third parties with

breach of the established measures.

       It should be noted that the RGPD in the aforementioned precept does not establish a list of
the security measures that are applicable according to the data that are
object of treatment, but establishes that the person in charge and the person in charge of the
treatment will apply technical and organizational measures that are appropriate to the risk

involved in the treatment, taking into account the state of the art, the costs of
application, the nature, scope, context and purposes of the treatment, the risks of
probability and seriousness for the rights and freedoms of the persons concerned.

       Likewise, security measures must be adequate and

proportionate to the risk detected, noting that the determination of the measures
technical and organizational must be carried out taking into account: pseudonymisation and
encryption, the ability to ensure confidentiality, integrity, availability, and
resilience, the ability to restore availability and access to data after a
incident, verification process (not audit), evaluation and assessment of the
effectiveness of the measures.


       In any case, when evaluating the adequacy of the security level, the
particularly take into account the risks presented by data processing, such as
consequence of accidental or illegal destruction, loss or alteration of data
personal data transmitted, preserved or otherwise processed, or the communication or
unauthorized access to said data and that could cause damages

physical, material or immaterial.

       In this same sense, recital 83 of the RGPD states that:

       “(83) In order to maintain security and prevent the treatment from infringing the
provided in this Regulation, the person in charge or the person in charge must evaluate

the risks inherent to the treatment and apply measures to mitigate them, such as the
encryption. These measures must guarantee an adequate level of security, including the
confidentiality, taking into account the state of the art and the cost of its application
with respect to the risks and the nature of the personal data that must
protect yourself. When assessing risk in relation to data security, you should
take into account the risks arising from the processing of personal data,

such as accidental or illegal destruction, loss or alteration of personal data
transmitted, preserved or otherwise processed, or communication or access does not
authorized to said data, susceptible in particular to cause damages
physical, material or immaterial ”.


       In the present case, as stated in the facts and in the framework of the
investigation file E / 09606/2019, the AEPD transferred to the defendant the
10/15/2019, the claim submitted for analysis requesting the contribution of
information related to the incident claimed, without it having been received in this
body any response.

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       The defendant's liability is determined by the bankruptcy of
security demonstrated by the claimant, since he is responsible for taking

decisions aimed at effectively implementing technical measures and
appropriate organizational arrangements to ensure a level of security appropriate to the risk
to ensure the confidentiality of the data, restoring its availability and preventing
access to them in the event of a physical or technical incident. However, from the
documentation provided it is clear that the entity has not only breached this
obligation, but also the adoption of measures in this regard is unknown, despite

of having given him transfer of the claim presented.

       In accordance with the foregoing, it is estimated that the claimed would be
allegedly responsible for the violation of the RGPD: the violation of article 32,
offense typified in its article 83.4.a).


                                            V
       In order to establish the administrative fine to be imposed, they must
observe the provisions contained in articles 83.1 and 83.2 of the RGPD, which
they point out:


       "one. Each supervisory authority will guarantee that the imposition of fines
administrative under this article for the infractions of this
Regulations indicated in paragraphs 4, 5 and 6 are in each individual case
effective, proportionate and dissuasive.


       2. Administrative fines will be imposed, depending on the circumstances
of each individual case, as an additional or substitute title for the measures contemplated
in Article 58, paragraph 2, letters a) to h) and j). When deciding to impose a fine
administrative and its amount in each individual case will be duly taken into account:


       a) the nature, severity and duration of the offense, taking into account the
       nature, scope or purpose of the processing operation in question
       as well as the number of affected stakeholders and the level of damage and
       damages they have suffered;
       b) intentionality or negligence in the infringement;
       c) any measure taken by the person in charge or in charge of the treatment

       to alleviate the damages suffered by the interested parties;
       d) the degree of responsibility of the person in charge of the
       treatment, taking into account the technical or organizational measures that have
       applied by virtue of articles 25 and 32;
       e) any previous infringement committed by the person in charge or the person in charge of the

       treatment;
       f) the degree of cooperation with the supervisory authority in order to establish
       remedy the violation and mitigate the possible adverse effects of the violation;
       g) the categories of personal data affected by the infringement;
       h) the way in which the supervisory authority learned of the infringement, in

       particular if the person in charge or the person in charge notified the infraction and, in such case,
       what extent;



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       i) when the measures indicated in article 58, paragraph 2, have been
       previously ordered against the person responsible or the person in charge
       in relation to the same matter, compliance with said measures;

       j) adherence to codes of conduct under article 40 or to mechanisms
       certification approved in accordance with Article 42, and
       k) any other aggravating or mitigating factor applicable to the circumstances of the
       case, such as financial benefits obtained or losses avoided, direct
       or indirectly, through the infringement.


       In relation to letter k) of article 83.2 of the RGPD, the LOPDGDD, in its
Article 76, “Sanctions and corrective measures”, establishes that:

       "two. In accordance with the provisions of article 83.2.k) of Regulation (EU)
2016/679 may also be taken into account:


       a) The continuing nature of the offense.
       b) The linking of the activity of the offender with the performance of treatments
       of personal data.
       c) The benefits obtained as a result of the commission of the offense.
       d) The possibility that the affected person's conduct could have led to the

       commission of the offense.
       e) The existence of a merger process by absorption after the commission
       of the infringement, which cannot be attributed to the absorbing entity.
       f) Affecting the rights of minors.
       g) Have, when not mandatory, a delegate for the protection of

data.
       h) The submission by the person in charge or in charge, with character
       voluntary, to alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, in those
       cases in which there are controversies between those and any
       interested."


       - In accordance with the transcribed precepts, in order to set the amount of the
sanction of a fine to be imposed in the present case for the offense typified in the
Article 83.4.a) of the RGPD for which the claimed person is responsible, in a valuation
initial, the following factors are considered concurrent:


       The nature and severity of the infringement given that it is data
       especially sensitive workers of the claimed.

       The merely local scope of the treatment carried out by the entity
       claimed.


       The high number of people whose data has been affected by the
       offending conduct (29).

       The claimed entity does not record that it has adopted measures to prevent

       produce similar incidents; It has not responded to the request either
       informative from the Agency which affects the absence of cooperation with the
       supervisory authority in order to remedy the infringement and mitigate the
       possible adverse effects of it.

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       There is no evidence that the entity acted fraudulently, although
       the performance reveals a serious lack of diligence.


       The linking of the offender's activity with the performance of treatment of
       Personal data.

       The claimed entity is a small business.


       Therefore, in accordance with the applicable legislation and assessed the criteria of
graduation of sanctions whose existence has been proven,

       The Director of the Spanish Data Protection Agency RESOLVES:


FIRST: IMPOSE ELECTROTECNIA BASTIDA, S.L., with CIF B96466461, by
an infringement of article 32.1 of the RGPD, typified in article 83.4.a) of the RGPD,
a fine of € 3,000 (three thousand euros), in accordance with article 73.g) of the
LOPDGDD.

SECOND: NOTIFY this resolution to ELECTROTECNIA BASTIDA, S.L.,

with CIF B96466461.

THIRD: Warn the sanctioned person that the sanction imposed by a
Once this resolution is enforceable, in accordance with the provisions of the
art. 98.1.b) of Law 39/2015, of October 1, on Administrative Procedure

Common of Public Administrations (hereinafter LPACAP), within the payment period
voluntary established in art. 68 of the General Collection Regulations, approved
by Royal Decree 939/2005, of July 29, in relation to art. 62 of Law 58/2003,
of December 17, by means of their entry, indicating the NIF of the sanctioned person and the number
procedure that appears in the heading of this document, in the account

restricted number ES00 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000, opened in the name of the Agency
Spanish Data Protection in the banking entity CAIXABANK, S.A .. In case
Otherwise, it will be collected in the executive period.

       Once the notification has been received and once it is executed, if the date of execution is
finds between the 1st and the 15th of each month, both inclusive, the deadline to carry out the

Voluntary payment will be until the 20th of the following or immediately subsequent business month, and if
is between the 16th and last days of each month, both inclusive, the term of the
payment will be up to the 5th of the second following or immediate business month.

       In accordance with the provisions of article 50 of the LOPDGDD, the

This Resolution will be made public once it has been notified to the interested parties.

       Against this resolution, which ends the administrative procedure in accordance with art.
48.6 of the LOPDGDD, and in accordance with the provisions of article 123 of the
LPACAP, the interested parties may file, optionally, an appeal for reversal

before the Director of the Spanish Agency for Data Protection within a period of
month from the day following notification of this resolution or directly
contentious-administrative appeal before the Contentious-Administrative Chamber of the
National High Court, in accordance with the provisions of article 25 and section 5 of

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the fourth additional provision of Law 29/1998, of July 13, regulating the
Contentious-administrative jurisdiction, within two months from the

day following notification of this act, as provided in article 46.1 of the
referred Law.

       Finally, it is pointed out that in accordance with the provisions of art. 90.3 a) of the
LPACAP, the firm resolution may be suspended in an administrative way

If the interested party expresses his intention to file a contentious appeal-
administrative. If this is the case, the interested party must formally communicate this
made by writing to the Spanish Data Protection Agency,
Presenting it through the Electronic Registry of the Agency
[https://sedeagpd.gob.es/sede-electronica-web/], or through any of the rest

records provided for in art. 16.4 of the aforementioned Law 39/2015, of October 1. Too
must forward to the Agency the documentation that proves the effective filing
of the contentious-administrative appeal. If the Agency is not aware of the
filing of the contentious-administrative appeal within a period of two months from the
day after the notification of this resolution, I would terminate the

precautionary suspension.


                                                                        Mar Spain Martí
                               Director of the Spanish Agency for Data Protection



































C / Jorge Juan, 6 www.aepd.es
28001 - Madrid sedeagpd.gob.es