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In the first year after the introduction of the European Privacy Act (GDPR), the Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA) received almost 20,000 complaints about possible breaches of privacy. In the first five months of this year, the watchdog also received almost 8,000 reports of data breaches, writes Tweakers.

The GDPR came into force on 25 May 2018. On the eve of the first anniversary of the Privacy Act, the AP announced figures for its first year. Between 1 January and 1 May 2019, the AP received 8,902 complaints about suspected breaches of privacy. Between 25 May 2018 and 1 January 2019, there were 11,000. This brings the total number of complaints to 19,902. An average of 1,730 complaints per citizen are received per month.

Data leaks

In addition to complaints about possible breaches of privacy, the Dutch Data Protection Authority also receives reports of data breaches. In the first four months of this year, there were 7,872. If that number were to continue, there would be 23,000 reports throughout 2019. In 2018, a total of 21,000 reports of data breaches were received by the AP.

Companies are required to report data breaches to the regulatory authorities in the country where the leak occurred. If they fail to do so within 72 hours of the company becoming aware of the leak, they will be fined.

In February this year, an investigation by the law firm DLA Piper revealed that 59,000 data leaks have entered the relevant authorities across Europe since the GDPR came into force. The Netherlands would lead the list with 15,400 reported data leaks since May last year. Germany didn’t do well either, with 12,600 reports. The top three was closed by the United Kingdom with 10,600 reported leaks. By February, however, only 91 fines had been handed out.

Older rules

Since 1 January 2016, companies are obliged to report data leaks to the AP. In addition, citizens have been able to lodge complaints about possible breaches of privacy for some time now. Now that privacy rights have become more widely known, there are more of them. All complaints and reports must be dealt with by the AP.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.