Almost five years after the entry into force of the Spanish Data Protection Act (LOPDGDD), and as a consequence of the modifications made in the European Data Protection Regulation (RGPDD), the amendments to the regulation have been published in the Spanish Official Bulletin (BOE), which are also caused by the increase in complaints and their variety before the Spanish Data Protection Agency, which during 2022 received 15,128 complaints, which is 9% more than in 2021 and 47% more than in 2020.
Among these complaints, the most frequent are those corresponding to Internet services, followed by video surveillance, receipt of unwanted advertising and undue insertion in default files.
In view of this situation, the amendments introduced by Organic Law 5/2018 affect the warning figure, which is no longer included as a sanctioning element and is now regulated as a non-penalising warning with a maximum duration of six months.
In addition, the sanctioning procedure also undergoes changes in its time limits, which are increased by three months, from nine to twelve months, and from twelve to eighteen months in preliminary investigation proceedings.
The increase in time periods is justified by the increase in the number of sanctioning procedures that end with penalties. As with the number of complaints, the areas of activity related to internet services are the ones with the highest number of fines imposed. However, the areas of advertising, labour matters, personal data breaches, fraudulent recruitment and telecommunications also stand out, accounting for 87% of the total number of sanctions.
In return for this increased burden of complaints and sanctioning procedures, one of the novelties regulated by the amendment of the Law is the possibility for data protection inspectors to carry out investigation actions telematically, such as by videoconference. The aim is to provide them with greater agility and competence in their actions.
Finally, a one-stop window has been created to speed up the relevant formalities in the procedures opened by the Agency, and thus be able to deal with citizens’ complaints more quickly and efficiently, and in a clearer and simpler manner. To make it easier for citizens to submit complaints, users will have the corresponding complaint submission forms available on the same electronic site.
An article by Imma Martí