Data Protection in Belgium

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Data Protection in Belgium
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Data Protection Authority: APD/GBA (Belgium)
National Implementation Law (Original): Data Protection Act (2019)
English Translation of National Implementation Law: English Translation
Official Language(s): French, Dutch and German
National Legislation Database(s): Link
English Legislation Database(s): n/a
National Decision Database(s): Link


Legislation

History

The Belgian Data Protection Authority (APD/GBA - typically BDPA in English) is the successor of the Commission for the protection of privacy with effect from 25/05/2018 and was established by the Belgian Federal Chamber of Representatives by the Law of 3rd of December 2017 establishing the Data Protection Authority (BDPA Act).

National constitutional protections

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National GDPR implementation law

In Belgium the GDPR is implemented by the Data Protection Act (2019).

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Age of consent

The age of consent in Belgium is 13 years old.

The APD/GBA justified its decision to lower the age of consent indicating that this represent the average age children browser the Internet. The APD/GBA considers that selecting a higher age of consent could have limited the opportunities for children to grow digitally; however, it notes that this choice must be accompanied with additional efforts from the APD/GBA and other institution to teach children, as early as possible, to adopt a thoughtful attitude towards this media[1].

Freedom of Speech

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Employment context

Belgian law does not provide for specific rules with respect to the processing of employee data. Nevertheless, certain specific privacy issues regulated in collective agreements negotiated between employees and employers’ associations remain applicable. Those issues are:

  • the processing of personal data pursuant to the collective agreement N°38 on the recruitment and selection of workers;
  • the processing of personal data pursuant to the collective agreement N°68 on the protection of workers’ privacy with regard to CCTV in the workplace;
  • the processing of personal data pursuant to the collective agreement N°81 on the protection of workers’ privacy with regard to the control of networked electronic communication data; and
  • the processing of personal data pursuant to the collective agreement N°100 on the implementation of a preventive policy regarding alcohol and drugs inside the company.

Ref.: https://www.whitecase.com/publications/article/gdpr-guide-national-implementation-belgium#q20

Research

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Other relevant national provisions and laws

Statute of limitations: Art. 105 of the BDPA Act states that facts (= alleged infringements) are time-barred after 5 years.

Post-GDPR guidance:

National ePrivacy Law

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Data Protection Authority

The Belgian Data Protection Authority (Autorité de protection des données in French or Gegevensbeschermingsautoriteit in Dutch) is the national data protection authority for Belgium.

→ Details see APD/GBA (Belgium)

Judicial protection

Civil Courts

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Administrative Courts

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Constitutional Court

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